I finally narrowed down the actual town setting of Lady of the Snow. After hours of searching through various places in Japan (literally, I lost track–it had to be 8-10 over the past two weeks), I decided to set it in the picturesque Nikko.
It was the place that I instantly felt was right for the setting. I had a few other possibilities but none resonated with me like Nikko. Why did I choose the city? A number of factors:
- The town existed when my book starts (Muromachi period, circa 1350s or so) and already was a well-established village (founded sometime in the 700s)
- The climate. The town had to be in a pretty mountainous area (which isn’t hard to find in Japan). What cinched it though was the fact that Nikko is known for having a climate similar to the chilly region of Hokkaido because of its elevation. This means that this is a great place for a lady of the winter since winter is longer here than in other areas.
- The temples, specifically Futarasan Shrine, which enshrines Ōkuninushi, the ruler of the unseen world of spirits. Not sure how much it will play a part in the book, if any, but it seemed like something I may be able to use 🙂 (Also, if you look at the Wiki page about the shrine, the bridge that leads to the shrine, called the Sacred Bridge, was once the header of my blog)
- The picturesque scenery 🙂
I know that the most well known version of the legend (and the one I’m basing parts of my story off of) has it in an unnamed village in the old Musashi province (modern day Tokyo Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and part of Kanagawa Prefecture) but I couldn’t seem to find a place to set it that I liked. I hesitated at first but realized it’s my book and I can set it anywhere in Japan I want 😛
Now to figure out other characters besides Yuki-onna and the two love interests. 😛 And I also need to figure out a name for her from her human life…then it’s time to plot the out the book.