The initial friction between O-Hatsu and O-Bun arises from differences in their relative social status. Beginning in the 17th century and ending with the Meiji Restoration, people were categorized into roughly four social classes:
In Episode 1, O-Hatsu’s teahouse is raided by pro-imperial samurai searching for Tokugawa supporters. The slogan “Sonno joi!” (Expel foreigners, revere the Emperor!)
When we first meet O-Bun in Episode 1, she is complaining about having to walk so far… To encourage trade and travel, the shogunate government built highways connecting several major cities.
The Battle of Toba Fushimi was fought January 27-30, 1868, between Tokugawa loyalists and pro-Imperial troops from the Satsuma, Choshu and Tosa domains.