The Evil in Satomi
The following was sent in from an e-mail from Jonathan, and I felt it had to be posted.
Don't you feel Yoshizane (Fuse's Father) is the reason for all the troubles in the series?
Let me explain...
Forgetting the true story of the Hakkenden (of which I know almost nothing of) and basing it only on the series interpretation... here are my thoughts.
Yoshizane fled the battle and his shogun. According to Japanese tradition, this is a terrible act of cowardice. Yoshizane's shadow was that of a dog already - he had cast aside his honor to protect his own life. He dropped his helmet and General Hikita (as a boy) picked it up - a foreshadowing of one of the many punishments for Yoshizane.
Yoshizane helped overthrow Yamashita Sadakane. Sadakane was no saint... in short, he was a manipulative bastard, but he was correct in accusing Yoshizane of manipulating the issue to take over Awa. Yoshizane did it for his own benefit more than "avenging a fallen lord" as he said (after all...he had no trouble abandoning his own). As punishment, don't you feel Aboshi was called forth to act as the main tool to enact the curse that Tamazusa had laid.
Speaking of which...
Tamazusa was no saint either, but look at the situation... She was to be beheaded and then Yoshinze said she should just be banished. He did not decide to cut off her head until it was suggested that people might say bad things about him if he let her go. Threats on his own ego is why he chose to cut her head off. For this breaking of his word (which he would do again with Yatsafusa - we even get the flashback))
This is where the greates punishment comes in. Yoshizane has cursed his bloodline for failing the eight traits of the samurai.
Well... moving on...
Well... there are many other indicators that Yoshizane is the real reason the curse happened and why he needed to be punished.
- We see Yoshinze fail to mary Daisuke to Fuse (probably another broken promise)
- break his word to Yatsafusa (which would ultimately result in the death of Fuse)
- Take advantage of the help of the dog warriors up to the point of almost killing them as well as his own daughter just to defeat Hikita.
Other thought: When the dog warriors realize the truth (or the seven, because the kid was a "young pup" who misunderstood his duty until the end) they meet with Tamazusa. She knows that they are on the correct spiritual path, unlike their dishonorable grandfather. Yoshizane, in firing the flaming arrow, has revealed his true nature and his destruction is certain. Tamazusa lifts the curse and is finally able to rest in peace (as is Fuse). Aboshi is powerless now and even though he goes into that big ol' demon form, the eight dog warriors defeat him with ease.
Furthermore, the dog warriors understand that Fuse and Tamazusa are in the body of Hamaji and will protect them both. Yoshizane still fails to see the light and tries to kill his own daughter (and Fuse's spirit with her) - but even his son understands by this point that such an act is wrong and tries to stop his father - at the cost of his own life. Yoshizane's last and final punishment... instead of gaining power and ruling Awa, he has severed the last of his bloodline and he is lost forever. The Dog Warriors, while being the grandchildren of Yoshinze spiritually, are not of his blood and finally are able to go forth and claim their own destiny, rather than dealing with the sins of Yoshizane - which dominated everyone (from the Dog Warriors to Tamazusa's unresting soul).
I am not saying Tamazusa was a saint nor that Aboshi wasn't evil... but they were merely the two points of the curse... Tamazusa was the will of the curse and Aboshi was merely the extension of the curse, enacting pain and suffering. However, the curse was brought about by Yoshizane's dishonorable path.
I have worked long an hard on this series of points and most of it is justified in the comments made by the characters, the actions we witness in the series as well as the normal structure of Japanese folklore, where the dishonorable pay the ultimate price for their wretchedness.