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Wo ai ni

Miaka and Tamahome's love is a strong theme throughout the storyline of Fushigi Yuugi. Together they endure constant problems with their wishes to be together, yet somehow this makes their love stronger than ever. What started as a reluctant friendship (on Tamahome's part) slowly develops into something more.
However, when Miaka first declares her love to Tamahome he turns her away saying he doesn't feel the same. A fair while later, they finally have some time in which to talk alone, and Tamahome explains to her that he didn't know how to reply; he's always lived for his family and thought nothing about love, and her confession caught him off guard.
Tamahome's liking of Miaka grows slowly but steadily throughout; at first, she was simply an opportunity for o-ka-ne (money); then later he eventually agrees to try and help Miaka find Yui. When she emits the glow of Suzaku during the royal procession, he takes his "payment" from her, a kiss on her forehead, then when they get thrown in the dungeon he comforts her. Later he says he will be her brother until she finds Yui and her way home, then finally he admits his love for her. When Miaka comes back into the Universe of the Four Gods, Nuriko subtley points out to her that she is Tamahome's beloved.

However, that is not the end of their struggles to be together, more like the beginning. Hotohori also loves Miaka with a passion, (see my fanfic, Kuusou for more about that ^_^) and this causes some problems with their love; when Tamahome is drugged by Nakago and loses his mind, Miaka even decides she could love Hotohori back; at that point she had said sayonara to Tamahome ("sayonara" is a way of saying goodbye; rather than something like "ja ne", or "see you", it encompasses feelings of regret and sadness at parting and never meeting again. Much like "adieu" (sp?) in french. When Miaka tells Tamahome sayonara, she is letting go of her love for him, with the knowledge that it may well be forever.) However, Tamahome is sent to kill her and Hotohori, and after Hotohori, his chi totally focused with the rage at Tamahome's intentions and the need to protect Miaka, defeats Tamahome with a lethal stab wound, he finally manages to overcome the drug and recover. Later he returns to Kutou for Suzaku's Universe of the Four Gods, and confronts Nakago, who demands to know how Tamahome managed to overcome the drug which supposedly cannot be broken by anything. Tamahome replies that Nakago would never understand. Chichiri tells the Suzaku Seishi that perhaps when Tamahome's lifeforce weakened, the drug's power over him weakened also, and then his love for Miaka was enough to break down the barriers and recover his former self.
Later, when Miaka and Tamahome have some time alone, she tells Tamahome she needs nothing for his behaviour while under the drug's control; all she wants is him.

More problems arise after the first summoning ceremony goes wrong, thanks to Amiboshi's infiltration and interference. Taitsokun tells Miaka that to summon Suzaku, they must now find the Shinzaho in Genbuu territory. However, there is another condition; for the summoning to work, Miaka must also be pure of body, a virgin. The barrier between Seishi and Miko must not be overstepped. (Initially this site was called "Densetsu no Shojou", because it's hard to tell what they call Miaka; "shojo" (meaning "young girl") or "shojou" (meaning "virgin" or "maiden"). I finally decided on "shojo" though, for various reasons. ^_^)
At first, Miaka lies to Tamahome; she tells him that he is taking their relationship too seriously and he should lighten up. Later though, he confronts her and demands to know the truth; he knows she doesn't really feel that way. Miaka tells him, and at first he is as mortified as she; they cannot express their feelings for each other in case they go too far. However, he then decides that until the summoning, he will protect her with his life as her seishi, then after they have summoned Suzaku he will marry her and make her the happiest bride ever. This is the kind of desparate optimism common to love; despite barriers of circumstance and time, the heart goes on, love will endure for as long as it takes.

Fushigi Yuugi explores many aspects of love and life in depth and detail, and always manages to sound true to life (despite being set in a fantasy world with magical powers and the like ^_^;;). Miaka and Tamahome's love is not something you will find everyday; it is the pure, life-bonding, totally dedicated and passionate love that is rare and precious. Fushigi Yuugi teaches the lesson that such emotion and feeling between two people should never be forsaken, and held onto at all costs; despite hardships, love will endure if the two people persist and do not give up. Love is rarely, if ever, simple; it is frequently bitter-sweet, and closely tied with pain along the way, but the rewards are the ultimate feeling that cannot really be explained in words; the essence of love, and all it encompasses are to me what make life seem worthwhile.

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Dedicated to Jenny