Gail Tsukiyama: The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

Posted by nybookworm on May 11, 2009

fuji-japan-cherry-blossoms-and-mountGail Tsukiyama is actually a fairly prolific author, whose  novels frequently involve Japanese characters and focus on Japanese culture and traditions.  This was my first exposure to her work and I was not disappointed.  In Street of A Thousand Blossoms Tsukiyama explores two ancient Japanese traditions, sumo wrestling and mask making.  The novel spans twenty odd years and takes place before, during and after World War II with two orphaned brothers who are being raised by their grandparents,  Hiroshi and Kenji, as the main characters.   At its heart, this novel is about Hiroshi and Kenji but woven throughout stories of their everyday lives are details of Japanese history, food, sport and culture that enrich the novel without rendering it dry and making it appear self-indulgent on the part of Tsukiyama.   If you are already a connoisseur of Japanese culture, I think you will still appreciate Tsukiyama’s  excellent prose and attention to detail.  I enjoyed this book and it has opened up a whole world of Tsukiyama’s work for me, which I expect to be exploring in the future.

The Amazon link here: http://www.amazon.com/Street-Thousand-Blossoms-Gail-Tsukiyama/dp/0312274823

PS: I believe it is actually cherry blossom season right now, at least in some parts of the world, making this one of those rare timely posts.


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