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Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers by Gloria…

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers

by Gloria Whelan

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There are many reasons why I liked this book “Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers”. One of the reasons is this book was written through Gloria Whelan’s perspective after learning about Japanese culture in a museum display at the University of Michigan. The story is about a young girl, Yuki, and her mother migrating from Kyoto to a place called Edo (today’s Tokyo), where Japanese royalty must live for part of the year. “In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the provincial governors of Japan were required by law to spend half of their time in Kyoto and half of their time in Edo.” This story informs the reader about Japanese culture and, the history of what politicians and their families had to do to retain their position in the government. “The 300-mile road between Kyoto and Edo went over mountains and along the sea.” Many families experienced this journey, which is now being told in this story by Whelan. The little girl, Yuki, describes her physical and emotional journey that she is taking with her family. Her teacher has told her to write a haiku poem on each day of her trip. One of the haikus is written at the midpoint of her journey to Edo. “Today the way home as close as the way to Edo, tomorrow, further.” Also, she talks about the places where she and her mother stay overnight and the living conditions of their accommodations. “Our room in the inn is only a five-mat room. Worse, our bedclothes are dirty. Mother gives the innkeeper such a scolding he runs from the room with his hands over his ears.” In the end, the little girl and her mother make it to their destination of Edo, where the little girl’s father is waiting for them. Even though Yuki misses home, she knows the law mandates the trip to Edo. The big idea of this story is about Japanese culture during the 17th and 18th centuries, the government’s laws and requirements, and how families, especially children, probably felt about the long journey to Edo. ( )
  kflach1 | Oct 23, 2014 |
A simple tale of a girl's journey from her home to the feudal capital of Japan, Edo. Interspersed with haikus and interesting tidbits of how life was like during that time. A nice way of introducing history to children. The watercolor art is superb when it comes to the background, though it didn't appeal to me as much when used to draw the main character, Yuki. Still, overall a nice book to read for somebody else. ( )
1 vote timothyl33 | Jul 28, 2011 |
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In Japan, as a provincial governor, his wife, and daughter Yuki, followed by 1,000 attendants, travel the historic Tokaido Road to the Shogun's palace in Edo, Yuki keeps up with her lessons by writing poems describing the journey.

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