June 20, 2009
Darcy and Kagekatsu
My sister's analysis of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice reminds me of the current NHK historical drama, Tenchijin, about a minor daimyo, Kagekatsu, who governed Echigo Province from 1578 to 1623. He is depicted as a classic introvert, handsome and accomplished, but who loathed "socializing."
There is apparently solid historical evidence for him being a man of very few words (the court historians kept detailed records), and the actor Kazuki Kitamura does a good job of depicting him just dying inside when trapped in situations he has to schmooze his way out of.
Like the great warlord Uesugi Kenshin, whom he succeeded, when faced with a battle or political dilemma, Kagekatsu was wont to retreat to a literal cave to think things through. If he'd been lord of Pemberley instead of Echigo, he would have spent most of his time in the study.
When dealing with the hyper-extroverted warlord Hideyoshi, he dragged along his gregarious adopted brother, Kanetsugu (Satoshi Tsumabuki), to do the talking, a la Aaron and Moses. Kanetsugu had to work hard to convince Hideyoshi that his brother was being quiet, not contemptuous.
As Jonathan Rauch (my go-to guy on the subject) explains, "[Extroverts] cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion."
Kitamura's Kagekatsu would make a good Darcy. Not surprisingly, the NHK series is told from the point of view of Kanetsugu, not Kagekatsu. Introverts really are boring, but they prefer it that way.