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The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
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The Samurai's Garden (1994)

by Gail Tsukiyama

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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Review: The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. 05/21/2018

The story is written in beautiful pose and some noted commentaries weaved within the novel. Her characters were well developed and formed an intuitive friendship that kept the reader turning page after page to read what happens next.

Beginning in pre-war China we get the chance to travel with Stephen a twenty year old student trying to recover from tuberculosis. Stephen is sent to his deceased grandfather’s family beach house in Japan isolating him from Hong Kong for a long needed rest to recuperate. Matsu is always there as a caretaker and gardener keeping watch over the place. As time goes on they seem to interact with one another and become the best of friends. The beach house is not far from surrounding villages of Tarumi and Yamaguchi which is a leper colony. Matsu introduces Stephen to his friends and other people in the villages.

Stephen learns more about the lives and understanding cultures, loyalty to family and friends of these people who was suppose to be his enemy because they were attacking China but instead he never let that come between him and his surroundings while his own family was going through their own personal mayhem. The village of Yamaguchi is where the reader meets Sachi and where the story of friendship, and love unfolds for Matsu unfolds. Stephen himself got attached to Sachi and I know the reader will too.

Stephen also had a brief romance encounter with a Japanese young woman whose father was anti-Chinese and for respect of her father she told Stephen she could not see him anymore. He was in Japan for about a year than Stephen went home to his family to Hong Kong before the Japanese had a chance to destroy his Country… ( )
  Juan-banjo | Jun 2, 2018 |
This book has a "read more than once" tag because I did read it more than once. When I got to the last third of the book, it started to sound more and more familiar. It is a good story; just not one that I would have read twice had I realized! ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Feb 11, 2016 |
Love and lessons learned growing up during war-time Japan. Sand, a garden, storms, and recovering from TB. Understated, lovely story filled with poignant wisdom. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Gentle loving book about a young man with tuberculosis that is sent to his family's rural home to heal. Set in the background of the war between the Japanese and the Chinese, it also discusses the shared life of a woman with leprosy and the older man who takes care of both the village and the sick man. Additional story is the discovery that his father has a long term mistress. I want to read more by this author. ( )
  Pmaurer | Oct 16, 2015 |
When a story comes back to you after many years that means it left an impression. Gathering good books again and building a library of them to study this one resurfaced. The gentle weaving together of characters becomes a powerful meditation on the meaning of love, family and culture. Able to reach across time and space, this book touches strong emotions and provides the stepping-stones to help the reader imagine places we have never been and times we have never seen. Like a skilled gardener, Tsukiyama takes her time and leads one through an experience that does some of the great things literature is capable of. ( )
  a_forester | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Tsukiyama's writing is crystalline and delicate, notably in her evocation of time and place. This quiet tale of affection between people whose countries are at war speaks of a humanity that transcends geopolitics.
added by mysterymax | editPublisher's Weekly (Feb 27, 1995)
 
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Epigraph
No one spoke, the host, the guest, the white chrysanthemums.
Dedication
In memory of Thomas Yam
First words
I wanted to find my own way, so this morning I persuaded my father to let me travel alone from his apartment in Kobe to my grandfather's beach house in Tarumi.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312144075, Paperback)

The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.

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

(see all 2 descriptions)

Shortly before World War II, a Chinese man, sent to Japan to recover from tuberculosis, meets a lovely Japanese girl and four older residents, in a story of passion and sacrifice.

» see all 2 descriptions

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