- 国際日本文学研究集会会議録 = PROCEEDINGS OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON JAPANESE LITERATURE (ISSN:03877280)
- no.18, pp.152-165, 1995-10-01
Around noontime on the third day of the Eleventh Month, 1823, Kano Gunbei, a vassal to the lord of Aizu and student in residence at the Bakufu's Shôheizaka Academy in Edo, ascended alone to the second floor of his dormitory where he cut down in cold blood one fellow student and severely wounded two others before being overcome and then arrested by peers. His first victim, Nishimura Yūzō, was a young samurai from Isahaya, Hizen Province, and known in the Eastern Capital as a poet of some skill. At the time of his murder Nishimura was salaried as the literary tutor in the Academy's two dormitories for provincial students in Yushima. According to Bakufu records of the court trial held in the next year, Kano felt slighted by his colleagues, and blamed the salaried tutorial staff for not preventing his harassment: a loss of face had led him to the dreadful act. The man responsible for subduing Kano was one Kurotaki Tōta, a Tsugaru vassal, and in 1823 student chief of the dormitory itself. Kurotaki, along with two other students, knew in fact of Kano's frustrations before the crime, and for this reason all three were held partly responsible by magistrates at the court. Two others were punished; Kurotaki got off due to his bravery at the scene of the crime. Kano had died "of illness" shortly after being thrown into jail. One of Kurotaki's underclassman, a new face at the Academy just arrived from Saiki domain named Nakashima Masuta, was named literary tutor immediately after Nishimura's death. According to Nakashima's own writings and to letters from friends in Kyushu, his sudden promotion was due more to verve in helping to quell the murderer that fatal day than to any single literary merit.Nakashima Masuta was, however, perhaps the most talented poet and prose stylist of his class at the Academy. According to some, he held promise to surpass even Rai San'yo, the most highly regarded kanshi poet of the Bunsei age. Masuta, who wrote under the penname Shigyoku or Beika, left Shōheizaka Academy in 1825, to return to service in his native province. He died in Saiki in 1834, at the age of thirty-four. At his appointment to the prestigious literary tutorship in 1823 he was a mere twenty-three, and it was precisely from this point that he gained nationwide recognition for a lyric style often sensual, sometimes macabre in the style of Li-he.This paper outlines the events leading to Nakashima's promotion, and aims in a larger sense to delineate the literary milieu of the Bakufu's Academy in the 1820's.