The Street of A Thousand Blossoms

The Street of A Thousand Blossoms

[a Novel]

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
5
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""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.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2007
ISBN: 9780312274825
0312274823
Branch Call Number: TSUKI
Characteristics: 422 p. ; 25 cm

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e
Eil_1
May 29, 2016

The author brings the characters in this book to life - their struggles, dreams and tragedies within their family. As with other books written by Tsukiyama, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is a book of a thousand plot lines. It is well grounded at the beginning but deteriorates to shallow charachter studies as it gets bogged down in the tragedy of WWII bombings and sufferings of the common people. It is an interesting peek into the life of two traditional Japanese artists and for that, it is worth the read. But it is not a 'masterpiece'

e
EmilyEm
Sep 01, 2010

Two young boys, Hiroshi and Kenji, are raised by their grandparents?wise and wonderful?in a suburb of Tokyo in the years leading up to Pearl Harbor and WWII. After the war both follow long-held dreams: Hiroshi becomes a sumo champion and Kenji becomes a mask artist for actors in the Noh theater. The story follows their triumphs and sorrows through 20 years of their lives and the lives of people near and dear to them. It's also a story of Japan and its people's coping with a war that ultimately strikes at civilians and leaves them defeated and occupied.

Tsukiyama can tell a story and teach you something along the way, her characters are nuanced and full of life's realities, and her writing is beautiful though a little meandering and repetitive at times. Some readers writing reviews say it's hard to keep track of all the characters. If you find that difficult, keep a list! By all means, keep reading.

c
Cabby
Sep 05, 2008

Recommended by Costco.

l
lacolbeck
Jun 04, 2008

Moving story - also interesting information about sumo wrestling!!

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