Tsuna, The Confucian Rebel Princess!
My biggest influences outside of the fantasy genre is that of history. My main focus in college was Asian History. I even had an Asian Studies minor to my History major to that effect. I learned a lot about Asian philosophy and culture in those years in college. I understood that one of the cornerstones of the East Asian culture is that of the teachings of Confucius. Be it obligations, filial piety, or day to day relationships. These differences in how Asians see the world and interact with it.
Confucius (551-449 BC), was a Chinese intellectual and philosopher whose philosophy of fitting things into the proper place crafted the basis for China as well as many Asian cultures. He crafted an idea of meritocracy that would create the Exam Systems in China. Confucian ideals included justice, benevolence, knowledge, and integrity. As well as that a good ruler will have good people serving under him and vice versa.
These ideas were important when crafting the 'Asian Influence' culture of the Omi Islands. I changed Confucius to Onfu who was an Imagient to be more akin to the inhabitants. Unlike Confucius Onfu was a martial artist practitioner. However, Onfu much like Confucius believed that knowledge and wisdom not might was right. Onfu alludes to Confucius and is the moral and society pillar to Omi society and culture.
Onfu ideals mirror Confucian ones, and Onfu himself considered himself a pupil of Confucius despite not being born in the same era or same planet. Onfu was an Imagient who lived in the Imagience and just took Confucian ideals and made them more palatable to Imagients for who power was everything.
The Omi Islands, also known as the Ryukyosho Islands at an earlier time were the one area where these ideals were supplanted the most. Although, the first Sycamor Dynasty as well as the Zulgan City States also adhere to Onfu ideals. It was in this environment that Tsunade Liang, known as Tsuna Liang was born into. She was given a martial artist education by her mother, Tsuki Liang, and an Onfu education by her uncle Saitoshi Omi.
Despite her upbringing Tsuna was enthralled by the tales of warrior princesses of the old. She wanted to be the hero, and when she entered her teenage years she rebelled against many of the ideas that held up the Onfu principles she was taught.
For instance Tsuna rebels against her family and her position as a princess and flees Ondai-Yo to go on a journey to find the Sycamor heir. She does not respect her families wishes to marry, and always duels her suitors and defeats them. Tsuna gets in fights with her mother and father, but mostly with her mother.
She rebels against the notion that princesses should stay in their castles and wait to be wed off. Tsuna wants to be the hero, the rebel, and the savior. She doesn't wait for anyone. She doesn't adhere to the idea that princesses should be idle. She is very dynamic in her ideas, and wants to be the force of change in the Omi Empire that she admires.
Her rebelling however is interesting, because it is mostly due to her belief in Onfu meritocracy. She believes that she must prove herself by her own abilities not by her own families ties and power. Her honor is on the line when she does these escapes, not her familaies. This adheres to another belief that she has in that the Omi Empire is corrupt. Sakai Omi is a bad ruler, so he has rebels, fights, and prolonged wars therefore it is up to the virtuous to strike out against her. In going on her quest to find the Sycamor heir and supplant her family.
Despite her reckless endeavors, she is quite the disciple of Onfu doctrine as well. Not only is she rebelling because she believes the Omi need to be overthrown, she herself has many qualities needed of an Onfu princess. She idealizes justice, at least her own idea of it. She is good mannered and tries to spread good will as she saves people and believes that since she is a princess she should save people. She shows benevolence, the thrill of knowledge since she goes on a quest to a library to find out more information. She also bluntly tells people her goals, which is to find the Sycamor heir. She shows integrity in her stride.
So even though she does very rebellious things, she still has hints of that Onfu upbringing. However, she is a good example of a rebel within a society that shuns rebels. Tsuna is the nail that sticks up and people in her own culture want to hammer her down. She however is a vigilant as a flowing river and as powerful as a waterfall. She will curtail to no one who gets in the way of her being a hero and savior. She however, might not be up to task, as she is not the most responsible of princesses. That is why it is good to have someone in her life like Leonli who is.
Tsuna is not an Asian, she is from a culture that is 'Asian-influenced'. She is a strong protagonist that goes on a journey to fix the problems in her culture and country. Tsuna travels through enemy territory to find the heir of a dead kingdom and find knowledge of their whereabouts. In a way Tsuna is on her very own 'Journey to the West', and instead of a monkey she has a blacksmith, his aide and an assassin to back her up. She is the rebel princess of this tale, and she isn't just rebelling against her family, she is rebelling against the Confucian ideals that she was taught. Tsuna is the 'Rebel Confucian Princess.” She is also the Princess from the East.
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A.L. Hornbeck, historian, author, metalhead, and all around geek.