Gay Love In History, Take 1.5

So I have found that notebook, thankfully it was not sent to Nigeria with my other stuff. I am now in the process of analyzing the data I gathered. Anyway before the much anticipated ‘Take 2’ is published, I’d very much like to share a lovely story about a young page called Fuwa Bansaku and one of the many samurai who loved him. Fuwa Bansaku was the page of then regent Hashiba Hidetsugu who was previously known as Toyotomi Hidetsugu. Fuwa Bansaku was known and admired for his beauty. He was also a very sympathetic man which meant that when he discovered someone had feelings for him, he felt sorry for the person and therefore cheated on his regent. There are a lot of stories about Fuwa Bansaku and his exploits in love. This is my favourite;

During his service as Hashiba Hidetsugu’s page, Fuwa Bansaku’s rare beauty was admired by all. Ogasawara Shinanonokami in particular adored him for a long time, but he could not reveal his passion because the regent took care to guard carefully the object of so many men’s affection. Whenever he met the beautiful young man, all that Shinanonokami could do was to give him an adoring look, all unknown to their master. Bansaku soon noticed his feelings and, feeling sympathetic, returned the look with his own. Shinanonokami, however, started more and more to show signs of being discontented with these wordless conversations, signs which Bansaku understood without difficulty. Seeing so much suffering the eyes of Shinanonokami, he finally deicided to see him personally. The lovers, however, were unable to find a spot where they might meet without being observed. Their suffering continued.

One day, the people of Kyoto would have seen in one of the avenues two palanquins which seemed wider than usual. When they came into the busy traffic of the avenue a strange thing happened; the two palanquins approached each other and seemed to get stuck together. Because of the congestion, however, the passers-by paid no attention to what the palanquins were doing. Soon they sperated and went on their own way. Towards the end of the day, the two palanquins became stuck together once more, and then separated again. Each then followed its own road as if nothing had happened.

In fact, on that day Bansaku passed from one palanquin to the another to see his lover Shinanonokami in secret –in the middle of streets crowded with passers-by, and nobody noticed! For Shinanonokami, it was a dream come true.

*Image: ‘The handsome Fuwa enters an ancient temple. A monster sits on his umbrella.’

**Story from Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun’ichi Iwato, Love of the Samurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Homosexuality, translated by D.R Roberts, GMP Publishers Ltd, London


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