Every country around the world has their fair share of literary classics that are studied by people from all over the world. Kozan has them too. Asides from a few folk tales and myths that are told among generations of Kozan’s youth, there is one 20th-century novel that has caught the eyes of most high school students in Kozan – being The Last Sixty Days, written by former Kabayashi province daimyo Kaneto Houraisan of the Houraisan dynasty, is a fictionalized version of how he married his wife Naiko Norimoto right at the turn of the century on December 31, 1899.
The novel follows the couple who had no plans to attend university after graduating high school in March of 1899. Kaneto is commanded by the Daimyo of Kabayashi province to “marry his childhood sweetheart before this year and century are out.” Both Kaneto and Naiko had known each other since they were in first grade and felt Naiko would be the perfect bride for him. Over the summer, and under command of not doing anything dirty, the couple go on weekly dates to do whatever they desire.
On All Saints Day (November 1, 1899), Kaneto officially proposes to Naiko, which she accepts. Their marriage preparations officially become underway, with Naiko being told they would marry half an hour before the clock struck midnight and officially welcome 1900. Their wedding announcement wouldn’t come until New Year’s Day of that year where they would appear at a parade that day.
Their wedding day comes, and their ceremony is private with just the couple and no court of honor, and the groom becoming the pastor. At 11:30 PM, just half an hour before 1900 is rung in, their private ceremony begins, where they exchange rings inside a small ballroom. Their kiss to seal their marriage would not be done until the very moment the clock struck midnight, there they danced a half-hour waltz before that.
The following morning, they were told to dress back up in their wedding attire to attend a New Year’s parade being held, where the newlywed couple paraded through the streets of Chikurin, impressing many attendees that the future hereditary daimyo of Kabayashi had married the night prior.
I’m sure there are other literary classics in Kozan that I want to share but this is one so far.