This volume offers invaluable new insights into the controversial lives and history of Prince and Princess Chichibu - two high-profile members of the Japanese imperial family, both before and after the Pacific War. Their lives were lived both above and below ‘the clouds’, with the princess a commoner in an arranged marriage and the popular ‘sporting prince’, dogged by ill health and his association with the Japanese Imperial Army. At the heart of the book is a complete translation of Princess Chichibu’s original autobiography, first published in a shorter, condensed version in 1996 under the title
The Silver Drum, together with a short biography of Prince Chichibu supported by important new data on his role in the war years, thanks to recent access to new studies as well as the prince’s own writings. Also included for the first time is a translation of most of Princess Chichibu’s collection of poems which formed part of the original memoir.
Dorothy Bouchier was born in Yokohama, Japan, of an English father and American mother. During the Second World War she studied composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College, California. After three years in London with the BBC Japanese Service, she returned to Tokyo in 1949 to work at the British Embassy and British Council before deciding in 1956 to devote her talents full-time to bridging East and West with both music and words. She translated this book at the special request of Princess Chichibu. Her many books and translations include
The Japanese Crane: Bird of Happiness,
A Haiku Journey – Basho’s ‘Narrow Road to a Far Province’,
Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, and most recently has edited her husband’s (Sir Cecil Bouchier) memoir
Spitfires in Japan.
Table of contents
Preface; Foreword by Tsunetada Matsudaira; Preface by H.I.H. Princess Chichibu to first edition of The Silver Drum; Foreword by Kazuko Azo to first edition of The Silver Drum; Introduction by Carmen Blacker to first edition of The Silver Drum; Chronology of events in the life of Prince and Princess Chichibu; Glossary of Japanese words; Part 1 - The Prince: A vindication; Part 2 - The Princess's story - The Silver Drum; 1 Born in England; 2 Childhood; 3 Growing up; 4 America; 5 Until my wedding day; 6 Imperial bride; 7 The silver box; 8 Our daily life; 9 Up to the outbreak of war; 10 Imperial villa, Gotemba; 11 The post-war years; 12 International friendship; The poems; Appendix: A critique of the Occupation by H.I.H. Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu; Index