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The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail…
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The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Gail Tsukiyama

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7892917,447 (3.83)59
Member:MarjIndex
Title:The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
Authors:Gail Tsukiyama
Info:St. Martin's Press (2007), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
A Japanese-POV, teenage romance history of horror and recovery with some chaste babymaking and a kiss or two, but they were long after the bombs and firestorms over Tokyo. A tour of tradition with sumo stables and noh masks, a trainride to the mountains and Nara, hunger during the War, and everyone being better than anyone should. OK, a couple of bad guys but not many.

An orange soda of a book. Sweet and easy to sip at on a hot day. But not filling.

BTW even though Michael Chabon blurbed the book, it has no flashy writing. It plods on cliche after cliche, and never gallops, rears up, or takes a bad turn. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms – Gail Tsukiyama
4 stars
The orphaned brothers, Hiroshi and Kenji, are being raised in a traditional Japanese household by their grandparents. Their story begins in 1939 and continues through the war and its aftermath. Considerably different in appearance and temperament, the brother’s choose traditional careers during the years of Japan’s greatest upheaval. Hiroshi becomes a famous Sumo wrestler while Kenji becomes a master craftsman of Noh masks. The story follows their family through tragedies and triumphs that parallel the reconstruction of postwar Japan.

The book begins in 1966 as Hiroshi is retiring from a victorious sumo career. Although the rest of the story is told in present tense there is a sense of distance and nostalgia throughout. Events progress fairly rapidly through the decades. Sometimes, I felt I wanted a bit more detail. Tsukiyama tends to depict a climatic event, such as a bombing, an accident or a death, and then shift scenes fairly quickly to show how the character has been affected by the event years later.

I found this book very hard to put down. All of the characters felt authentic. They had a completely universal familiarity of people who suffer and survive the hard times. Like,The Book Thief, this book shows how common citizens suffer in a country controlled by on oppressive, militaristic government. The dual careers of Sumo and Noh Theater were perfect to convey the atmosphere of Japan during the 1950’s as the country began to recover its pride and identity.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This is the story of two brothers, Kenji and Hiroshi, who have been raised by their grandparents after their parents died. The story spans nearly thirty years and includes quite a large cast of characters, including the men's loves, their grandparents, their work role models. There is a lot to be learned about Japan during and after WWII and about sumo wrestling. I would give this a 3.5 if it were possible and wish I had liked it more but there were so many characters that the book had to run quite long to flesh them all out but it was hard to really attach to any of them. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
This is the story of two brothers, Kenji and Hiroshi, who have been raised by their grandparents after their parents died. The story spans nearly thirty years and includes quite a large cast of characters, including the men's loves, their grandparents, their work role models. There is a lot to be learned about Japan during and after WWII and about sumo wrestling. I would give this a 3.5 if it were possible and wish I had liked it more but there were so many characters that the book had to run quite long to flesh them all out but it was hard to really attach to any of them. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
This fine novel follows two Japanese families over three decades - from 1930s to 1960s. Interesting detail on sumo wrestling, Noh theater and the effects of the war. Tsukiyama's writing is poetic. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
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A white light seeped through the shoji windows and into the room, along with the morning chill.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312274823, Hardcover)

"Just remember," Yoshio said quietly to his grandsons. "Every day of your lives, you must always be sure what you're fighting for."
 
It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers are growing up with their loving grandparents, who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows unusual skill at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating hard-carved masks for actors in the Noh theater.
Across town, a renowned sumo master, Sho Tanaka, lives with his wife and their two young daughters: the delicate, daydreaming Aki and her independent sister, Haru. Life seems full of promise as Kenji begins an informal apprenticeship with the most famous mask-maker in Japan and Hiroshi receives a coveted invitation to train with Tanaka. But then Pearl Harbor changes everything. As the ripples of war spread to both families' quiet neighborhoods, all of the generations must put their dreams on hold---and then find their way in a new Japan.
In an exquisitely moving story that spans almost thirty years, Gail Tsukiyama draws us irresistibly into the world of the brothers and the women who love them. It is a world of tradition and change, of heartbreaking loss and surprising hope, and of the impact of events beyond their control on ordinary, decent men and women. Above all, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a masterpiece about love and family from a glorious storyteller at the height of her powers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers are growing up with their loving grandparents, who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows unusual skill at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating hand-carved masks for actors in the Noh theater." "Across town, a renowned sumo master, Sho Tanaka, lives with his wife and their two young daughters: the delicate, daydreaming Aki and her independent sister, Haru. Life seems full of promise as Kenji begins an informal apprenticeship with the most famous maskmaker in Japan and Hiroshi receives a coveted invitation to train with Tanaka. But then Pearl Harbor changes everything. As the ripples of war spread to both families' quiet neighborhoods, all of the generations must put their dreams on hold - and then find their way in a new Japan."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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