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Shinju (Sano Ichiro) by Laura Joh Rowland

Shinju (Sano Ichiro) (original 1994; edition 2009)

by Laura Joh Rowland

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6481114,888 (3.75)18
Title:Shinju (Sano Ichiro)
Authors:Laura Joh Rowland
Info:Robinson (2009), Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Historical Fiction, Mystery, Sano Ichiro, TBR

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Shinjū by Laura Joh Rowland (1994)



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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Delightful historical mystery set in feudal Japan of the 17th century. Yoriki [Police Commander] Sano Ichiro is confronted with a supposed shinju [double suicide of two lovers]. Sano, with the help of Dr. Ito, prison doctor, ascertains that there were two murders. Dr. Ito performs an autopsy, which is forbidden by Japanese law at that time, as "Western." Against orders of Sano's superior, Sano sets about finding the culprit. During his investigation, a conspiracy to assassinate the shogun is uncovered and Sano races to foil the plot. When Sano comes face to face with the villain, the ensuing struggle is heart-stopping.

Sano is an engaging character and is driven by the samurai code of Bushido which includes duty, filial piety, and searching out the truth at whatever cost. Rowland set out Japanese social mores and culture in her novel. We witness a funeral and a tea ceremony. Descriptions were rich and vivid. These were the best part of the novel and opened my eyes to an unfamiliar culture. We get an insight into the Japanese psyche. I am glad Sano has seventeen other cases that I plan to follow. The author has created an imaginative and creative series. ( )
  janerawoof | Jan 26, 2015 |
It took a while to get into this book--lots of long descriptions and not much action in the beginning, but the final third of the story delivered. Now that the author has hit her stride, I might try the next in the series. ( )
  MarysGirl | Dec 4, 2014 |
Worth reading for the peek into the culture and daily life of 17th century Japan, though the mystery plot is not very compelling (it's pretty obvious who the culprit is from early on). Rowland's samurai detective spends quite a bit of this book agonizing over the conflict between his desire to solve the crime and his desire to bring honor to his family by being obedient to his superiors (who have ordered him to stop pestering the elite members of society with his questions). That's an interesting dilemma for a detective to have but does make things drag from time to time...I am curious to see how the character develops, though, and will certainly pick up the next in the series fairly soon! ( )
  mrlzbth | Feb 6, 2014 |
1st read this as a library edition, never bought it. I have read almost the entire series, Adding this to my collection of ones I do already have is just great. If Japanese history/drama/detective genre interests you at all, and/or you have never read any of this series. I Highly recommend this one. it is the first one of the series and sets up the characters for all the others, a good primer. A great book and for me, addicting enough to follow the series all these years. Laura Joh Rowland is a great writer and love everything she's written. ( )
  shieldwolf | Sep 9, 2013 |
For some reason I had trouble getting into the story and caring one way or another about the murder victims or the characters in the story. I am a fan of I. J. Parkers series set in ancient Japan so I was predisposed to like this. Maybe the next in the series will be more engaging. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowland, Laura Johprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents, Lena and Raymond Joh
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The horseman halted his mount on a narrow path that led to the Sumida River, listening to the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061009504, Mass Market Paperback)

When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the culprit was forbidden love. Everyone but newly appointed yoriki Sano Ichiro.

Despite the official verdict and warnings from his superiors, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People suspects the deaths weren't just a tragedy -- they were murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for a killer across every level of society -- determined to find answers to a mystery no one wants solved. No one but Sano...

As subtle and beautiful as the culture it evokes, Shinju vividly re-creates a world of ornate tearooms and guady pleasure-palaces, cloistered mountaintop convents and dealthy prisons.

Part love story, part myster, Shinju is a tour that will dazzle and entertain all who enter its world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In seventeenth-century Japan, Sano, a teacher and detective, investigates the ritual "suicide" drownings of a peasant and a noblewoman, supposed star-crossed lovers, and uncovers an intricate plot of political intrigue and murder.

(summary from another edition)

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