nehalenia (nehalenia) wrote in bleachness,

Discussion: If Katagiri is the perfect "samurai wife", is the Ishida clan as much samurai as Quincy?

I know the TV Tropes site should never be taken as gospel or anything, but it can be an entertaining way to waste an hour -- or an entire evening. In any case, while clicking links over there, I somehow ended up on the Yamato Nadeshiko entry and got a surprise.

If you don't know this particular trope, it's basically a character who represents "the flower of Japanese womanhood", i.e. the perfect samurai wife: dedicated to the family and to upholding tradition, loyal, wise, beautiful (but not too beautiful), and trained in martial arts in order to defend the homestead when necessary. Unohana is usually given as an example of this trope (or at least she was before her reveal as the first Kenpachi.) To my surprise and delight, however, I found that another Bleach character had been added to that trope: (quoting from the TV Tropes site):

Kanae Katagiri (Ryuuken's wife and Uryuu's mother) fits both the physical description (long dark hair, wide eyes, modestly and femininely dressed) and the personality traits (clearly has domestic skills since she works as a maid, holds Undying Loyalty to Ryuuken, a competent Quincy warrior when necessary). And her silk does hide some serious steel: she's the one to convince Ryuuken to return home after his nasty Heroic BSOD. And she does so via a gentle, heartfelt appeal instead by force.

As much as I adore Katagiri and as much as I had rhapsodized about her during the Everything But The Rain arc, I had never made the connection. In this case, I think TV Tropes is right as rain (ha ha), and Katagiri Kanae fits the bill perfectly: domestic but trained for war and defense, devoted and obedient but with a strong sense of tradition and the spirit to stand up to Ryuuken when she knew he was wrong and acting against the good of the family and clan, pretty and appealing but modest and appropriate.

The idea of Katagiri as a Yamato Nadeshiko made me look at the whole Ishida household differently. I was so caught up in how westernized they seemed in the EBTR flashback, especially given the obviously German roots of the Quincy, that I never realized they could just as easily be viewed as an old samurai family. The arranged marriages, the dedication to the clan, the authority of the master and mistress, the clear caste system where everyone has their place, the training for battle -- these things were also required in a noble/Samurai class household of the Edo period.

In fact, compare the Ishidas to Soul Society's most noble Kuchiki clan. Byakuya is the very epitome of the cool, aloof samurai warrior, right down to the cherry blossom motif. And who else married for love a woman from a lower station? Who else throws around the whole "pride" thing almost as often as Uryuu does?

So let me run with this Samurai Ishida thing here for a moment: For one thing, it puts a different light on the Holy Selection. One one hand, in samurai terms, Yhwach would be the Lord/Emperor of all Quincy and they would owe him their service and their lives. However, we know that Souken had split from from the Wandenreich. In that case, wouldn't the only appropriate response be to seek vengeance for the family members who were killed in the Selection?

If I'm right about this, and Uryuu only recently found out how his mother really died, then vengeance may well have been the trigger that set Uryuu on this course.

And what about Ryuuken? By denying his heritage, was he also stepping outside the samurai expectation of vengeance? Now that Yhwach has shown himself, will we see him come off the sidelines and take action?

Maybe I'm off base here, but I wanted to put this out to see what the Bleachness community thinks. Is there something to this theory, and if so, what else could it mean? Does it change your interpretation of things that have happened so far in this arc?

If you'd like to read the entries in TV tropes yourself, here's the link to the and here's the link to the entry on the Ishidas (click on "Ishida Manor" if it doesn't open automatically): I'd love to hear what you all think.
Tags: everything but the rain, ishida clan, ishida ryuuken, katagiri kanae, quincy
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