Yukino Miyazawa’s Era of Undisputed Supremacy (Kare Kano)
There’s a funny (though ultra-corny and predictable) extra chapter at the end of Kare Kano‘s Volume 10, where we get to see the main characters on the day of the Hokuei High School entrance exam. How corny is it? Yukino literally has a dream foreboding her meeting Arima in the future etc etc…
Be that as it may, Yukino reflects a lot on going on to high school. She’s obviously crushed the opposition in junior high, and she intends to do the same when she goes to Hokuei. However, at one point she hopes that she’ll have a bit more of a challenge in high school. She muses that all of the praise that she’s received in junior high feels somewhat hollow, and she has a very quirky way of describing it: “junior high has been my Edo Period”.
I love the reference. The Edo Period (1603-1868) in Japanese history was a time when a single family (the Tokugawa clan) ruled the entire nation with minimal opposition. The Tokugawas had an undisputed supremacy over the land. This long stretch of peace is all the more remarkable because it had been preceded by much warfare and disunity in the so-called Sengoku or Warring States Period (1467-1603). Yukino in junior high school felt just like a Tokugawa Shogun would have felt if praised for his strategic mind circa 1700, that is, kinda silly since there were no real enemies to employ that strategic mind against.
Now clearly, Yukino is bluffing somewhat. I don’t believe for a second she really wanted Hokuei High to be her Sengoku, which is what she ended up getting to some extent with the likes of Arima in there.
I look back on my life and can’t really find an Edo Period. That makes me sad!! I finished fifth or sixth in my own high school grade ranking, which is quite good, but first and second place were never in contention, since a couple of my classmates were ultra-hardcore students. Come to think of it, one was a guy and the other a gal. Alas, they didn’t find true love in each other like Arima and Yukino did. Otherwise I might have had a chance to pass them by in the final exams 😉