Reviews for The Courtship of Lady Tokio
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 22 . 12/23/2012
Great meeting between Tokio and Kenshin! How I wish Watsuki would've given her a cameo in the manga.
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 21 . 12/23/2012
It's rather unsettling to think that Okina and Tatsumi might have known each other. Yet given the fact that they both worked for the Bakufu in the same area, it's almost inevitable that they did. The Yaminobu may have been ninja, like the Oniwabanshuu, but they were a dirty bunch.
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 18 . 12/23/2012
OMG! I'm glad Saitou was just daydreaming! He would have been in more than just trouble had he actually done it! Then I remembered that swords aren't worn into the actual tearoom.

Ah! The tea ceremony. I've read about this, watched YouTube videos of it. It's poetry in motion when done properly. I would love to take part in one (as a guest) someday.
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 16 . 12/22/2012
I'm glad Tokio lived up to my expectations and got herself out. If there's one thing I can't stand in RK fanfiction, it's to see a strong woman reduced to a damsel in distress.
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 6 . 12/22/2012
Where exactly is the Mibu that the Mibu Wolves were of? Is it a nickname for Shinsengumi HQ, or is it another region?
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 4 . 12/22/2012
If Tokio's father wanted her to be safe, why did he allow her to go to Kyoto in the first place? A city of bloodshed is no place for a young woman.
Scarred Sword Heart chapter 3 . 12/22/2012
If Kondou and Hijikata were from peasant backgrounds, how did they get family names?
Alpecca Ankaa Black chapter 30 . 12/17/2012
this is an excellent chapter. I teared up at the end of the scene with Okita.
Alpecca Ankaa Black chapter 25 . 12/16/2012
This is a wonderful chapter; it had many moments that made me laugh. Great job.
dani-chan3 chapter 30 . 11/25/2012
You wrote Okita Souji and Saitou's last scene so beautifully... Thank you. I regret that I have come across this fic only now, and am looking forward to finishing it.
Dakoyone chapter 35 . 10/12/2012
Dearest author,

I forget when I had started reading your work (it's been quite a few years, I'm pretty sure), but I will never forget how excited I was to come across a story so rich in history, with characters that seem so real that you may as well assume that the real Saitou Hajime, the real Okita Souji, the real Kondou and Hijikata, that they were all such people as you've described.

Despite how much information there was and how some of the events felt overwhelming at times, your ability to integrate the people's culture and behavior while also drawing on individual human emotion and conflict is absolutely amazing and really tied the whole story together beautifully.

Absolutely wonderful work! I am quite keen on reading your sequel to this story.

Deepest respects,
Dakoyone
mymanicmarie chapter 35 . 10/11/2012
Wow...I devoured this whole story in three nights and I must congratulate you on such a fantastic story. I started to tear up when Saitou and Tokio reunited after all the time apart. Great work and I am eager to read the sequel and the doujinshi!
anreg chapter 33 . 9/26/2012
I think it worked very well to handle Tokio’s story first in chapter 31, and then focus on Saitou’s story in the following chapter.

You did an excellent job constructing the Satiou/Yaso back story as to how he found himself married to Yaso. (Kill a boar, get injured, out cold, wake up as someone's husband without your knowledge and consent.)

Yaso’s marriage to Saitou, and their eventual divorce, was handled in a very believable, real–life way within the context of marriages and divorces at that time in history in Japan. It worked well for Yaso to take it upon herself (for self protection/preservation) to register the marriage without his consent or knowledge. *She* was the one who married *them*. He then allowed the marriage to stand as payment for the life debt he felt he owed her for saving his life. I think that his grief was so deep about what he thought was Tokio’s betrayal, that he really didn’t care whether or not he had a wife. This one truly was a marriage of convenience.

I really like how you started the chapter with Kojuurou’s letter, and the sensible, sage advice that he gives Saitou, [“we must not forget that even when all seems lost, all is never truly lost.”]

Then Tokio’s father goes on to say, [“Your achievements in Kyoto were enough to sway me to consider you as a match for my daughter. However, it was your arrival in Wakamatsu and the fierce dedication you showed in defense of Aizu that made me realize that there was no other man that I would be willing to approve as my son-in-law.”] I really liked Kojuurou’s unconditional approval.

My heart broke for Saitou when he saw Tokio with her adoptive father, having no basis to interpret what he saw as a daughter’s devotion to her father, because he had read the record himself that stated that she was the man’s second wife.

What a lovely, lovely reunion between Saitou and Tokio in the snow when they first catch sight of each other…..and very, very generous of Yaso to hold her tongue at the time. The back drop of the cold weather sets the mood that there are still challenges to come before the reunion between these two is complete.

Saitou’s rationale for not showing himself when he saw Tokio and Kurasawa at the school was so understandable, ["Tokio, the last thing I wanted was to hear from your own mouth that you loved another man…."] Saitou’s feelings ran so deep for Tokio that he didn’t want to hear that she loved another man because he knew he would never recover from the revelation.

It was a very good reaction on Tokio’s part to slap him and to feel totally betrayed because he had doubted the lasting, enduring love that she had for him. She told him that she would wait, and she did. What a horrible blow to learn that he didn’t think that she would hold to her convictions.

Yaso was gracious, and did her best under very difficult circumstances, coming to Saitou’s aid and explaining the situation to Morinosuke, Sagawa, and Kurasawa. What a blow to all of a sudden finally know the reason why your husband never came to really love you, even after years together. I completely understand her wanting to be present when her future was being discussed and decided.

["Forgive me for being so blunt," Kurasawa spoke after a while, "but am I to understand then that this was purely a marriage of convenience?" Sagawa and Morinosuke held their breaths, while Saitou and Yaso looked at each other guardedly. Again, it was Yaso who answered for them. "I think I know Denpachi-sama well enough to say that it was never quite convenient for him. But to be honest, I was happy….""…. I was not unhappy, Yaso-san," Saitou sought to reassure her as best as he could."Yes, but now I know why you were never happy either." Yaso closed her eyes. It was the truth, and she needed to come to terms with it.]

Yaso was smart enough to recognize the depth of Saitou’s feelings for Tokio and to know that she never had, and never would have his heart. (He had given that to Tokio years ago after Tokio gave hers to him.) The ending of Saitou and Yaso's marriage was consistent with the historical, cultural context, and very believable given the well-crafted back story that you created. Being the person he was, he made sure that Yaso was provided for.

Nice scene with Morinosuke at the end, when he tried to cheer up Tokio. Poor little brother learned something about dealing with heartbroken women.

Even if Tokio had known that Yaso was the one who married herself to Saitou without his consent or knowledge for the convenience of receiving rations, and being able to live without the fear of being forced into a brothel (all good reasons for Yaso to take the action that she did), it wouldn’t have made a difference in how Tokio reacted. In Tokio’s mind, after being deeply wounded, she needed to make him pay for his doubting her.

[“Saitou instead had doubted her, had believed her false, and had betrayed her, no matter that there were extenuating circumstances and that it was not his intent. She had loved him for over ten years, and she had just found out that he had taken another as his wife. When she had first seen him the previous day, she had made up her mind that she would accept him with a broad heart, no matter what had befallen him while they were apart. She could never have imagined that she would need to accept that he had married, while she had waited.”]

After waiting for all those years it was a very, very understandable and logical reaction from Tokio at the end of chapter 32 to tell the man to ‘take a hike’…..especially when she didn’t know that the marriage was registered by Yaso without Saitou’s permission or knowledge, not that she would have acted differently had she known the circumstances, because the whole mess was triggered by Saitou not trusting in the promise she made to him years before…that she would wait for him.

Thank you for another wonderful, well-crafted chapter!
reviewer chapter 35 . 9/25/2012
I have only started reading this story several days ago and I absolutely love it. It was because of this story that I became in the Saitou/Tokio pairing. I think they are just a wonderful pairing. Also I love the little explanations afterwards. It really helps out and I get to learn more about Japanese culture. Anyway great story. I hope that you do go on to write Meiji Keikan Romantan.
Elle chapter 35 . 9/21/2012
There is so much that could be said about "The Courtship of Lady Tokio". I could speak about how beautifully integrated the history of the era was into the writing. I could speak about the touchingly profound adaptation of each and every character presented. I could bring up how elegantly written the story - all thirty five chapters - is, and how it always left me wanting to see more.

Eight years ago I was a (well, from my perspective now) very young girl beginning my foray into discovering who I was, my passions, my pursuits, and what I might eventually wish for a career. Eight years later, I still love and admire this story for what it does to me as I read it. I must credit you for my initial interest in Japanese History and Culture - which has, in the past few years, become a focus of my area of study. I would thank you for that - but also, for making so very, very real a story that delves into the nature of honor, pride, love, and perhaps, our very own humanity.

While I love this ending, I do hope that you'll come to write more. I know that, if you do, I will always be glad to read whatever you have to write.

Congratulations on finishing "The Courtship of Lady Tokio". It's been many years, but I hope it was as well worth it to you, as it's writer, as it was for me as a reader. Best wishes to you in whatever you choose to undertake in the future, and may you always be met with success.
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