Japan, 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms in Tokyo, two orphaned brothers are growing up with loving grandparents who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise in sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating exquisite masks for actors in the Noh theater. But as the ripples of war spread all the way to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on holdand then forge their own paths in a new Japan. In a powerfully moving story that spans almost thirty years, Gail Tsukiyama brings her acclaimed depth of character and emotion to her biggest canvas yetan epic novel of tradition and change, of loss and renewal, and above all of the enduring strength of family tiesat a turning point in modern history.
"The lingering effects of war...combined with a nation's search for pride and hope after surrender comprise the novel's oversized heart." - PW
"Tsukiyama proves to be adept at capturing sensory detail, whether she's creating the world of sumo or of Noh mask making. " - Library Journal.
""Gail Tsukiyama is a writer of astonishing grace, delicacy, and feeling. Her lyric precision serves not only to leave the reader breathless but to illuminate human suffering and redemption with clarity and power." - Michael Chabon.
""A master storyteller . . . Gail Tsukiyama expertly and beautifully weaves together the lives of a sumo wrestler and his family, and a Noh mask-maker through World War II and into the 1960s." - Jane Hamilton.
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Rated of 5
A Thousand Blessings
This is only the second book by Gail Tsukiyama I have read--The Language of Threads was the other and it led me to read this one. I was intrigued to learn about the sumo culture--it erased my silly notions based on stereotypes--and the art of creating Noh masks. The book also gave me a chilling look at WWII from the other side. This is a gifted author who pulled me into the story, never letting the big picture get in the way of the finely drawn characters.
Born to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father in San Francisco, Gail Tsukiyama now lives in El Cerrito, California. She is the bestselling author of seven novels, including The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Women of the Silk, The Samurais Garden and A Hundred Flowers, as well as the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She lives in El Cerrito, California.
Gail Tsukiyama: Tsu-kee-yah-mah
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