Shūrei Kō

Infobox animanga character
name = Shūrei Kō
series = The Story of Saiunkoku


caption = Shūrei as seen in the anime series.
first = Novel, Manga Volume 1 Episode 1 (in the anime)
last =
creator = Sai Yukino
voiced by = Houko Kuwashima
nickname = Soul Friend #1
alias =
age = 16 ("at the start of the series")
gender = Female
born =
death =
occupation =
title = Kō Princess
Emperor's Consort (former)
Kiyō Official
Provincial Governor (former)
relatives = Shōka Kō (father)
Reishin Kō (uncle)
Kurō Kō (uncle)
Shōkun Kō (mother, deceased)

nihongo|Shūrei Kō|紅 秀麗|Kō Shūrei is a fictional character in the novel, manga and anime series, "The Story of Saiunkoku".

Background

Shūrei Kō is the daughter and only child of Shōka Kō of the Kō clan, one of the two most powerful clans in Saiunkoku.

She is sixteen years old when the story begins. As a descendant of the direct line, she has the title "hime", which means 'princess' or 'lady'. Despite the high social status of her family, Shūrei grew up in relatively impoverished circumstances. Her father's job brought little income, and much of the wealth of their family home was given to the needy during the devastating war for the imperial succession eight years ago.

There are no servants at the Kō residence, so Shūrei has grown adept at household chores such as needlework, cooking and cleaning, traits unusual in a lady of high social standing. She has also held a number of odd jobs to earn money, acting as a professional erhu player, working as an accountant at Kōchō's brothel in the Red Light District, and serving as a teacher at the local temple.

Childhood

Shūrei suffered from a weak constitution as a child, but when her mother died after a sudden illness, Shūrei's health immediately recovered. This left her with feelings of regret and survivor's guilt over her mother's death. She still experiences fear and panic during summer thunderstorms, which remind her of her mother's sudden passing. Shūrei grew up side-by-side with Seiran and often confides in him, telling him virtually everything.

She deeply cares for him, but it is unclear whether she has romantic feelings for him. Shūrei experienced first-hand the chaos the nation suffered during the fight over the succession, and her childhood dream was to become an imperial official and serve in government. She yearned for the power to change the lives of the people for the better. Shūrei studied for the official examination with her father, but after she learned women were ineligible to take the exam, she abandoned her dream to the children she taught at the temple school.

tory

Due to Shūrei's status and abilities, Grand Master Shou offered her 500 gold pieces to become the Emperor's consort for six months. Shūrei's education, high social rank, relative poverty, and lack of influential relatives made her the ideal candidate. The Grand Advisors hoped Shūrei would be able to inspire and instruct Ryūki, who had shown no interest in governing after ascending to the throne, to become a better emperor.

She immediately agreed to the deal, swayed by the money (dearly needed for repairs to the house) and the opportunity to help influence her country for the better. Another factor was the persistent rumour that the Emperor was homosexual, which meant she would not have to worry about Ryūki's romantic or physical interest.

Shūrei's unique combination of kindness, shrewdness and hard work earned her a good reputation during her stay in the Imperial Residence. She gained the friendship and respect of many up-and-coming officials including Kōyū Ri who agreed to tutor her. Shūrei's mission ultimately succeeded; Ryūki became an active and respectable ruler thanks to her efforts. With her mission a success, Shūrei returned home, but as she was leaving, Ryūki finally revealed his romantic feelings for her with a very public kiss. Shūrei, however, doesn't appear to return Ryūki's feelings. The summer after Shūrei left the Imperial Residence, Kōyū Ri offered her a one-month position doing odd jobs for the Department of Treasury and Taxation. She had to dress up as a man to do so, but she won the respect of her employer, Kijin Kō, and met the Minister of Civil Affairs, Reishin Kō. Their support was key in the passing of a law to allow women to take the official examination. Shūrei passed the exam with the third highest score of the year, taking the "Tanka" spot, and at the age of seventeen became Saiunkoku's first female official.

At first, most of the officials hated the idea of having a female official. Higher ranking officials started to respect her after she passed a verbal test of the official exams in front of the entire counsel. After proving herself capable of performing the duties of an official, Shūrei, along with the other Shinshi, was officially inducted as an official. When the time came for the newly inducted officials to be assigned, Shūrei, along with Eigetsu, was assigned to be the governors of Sa (Brown) Province. This became the first time in history that two people became governors of one region.

Sources

*Various "Saiunkoku Monogatari" manga chapters, light novels, and anime episodes.

ee also

*Seiran Shi
*Ryūki Shi
*List of The Story of Saiunkoku characters


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