The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

This book was about Japan before, during and after the war. Three generations of view. The story follows the life of two boys: Kenji and Hiroshi. These boys were orphaned at a young age and lived with their grandparents. Kenji would be a mask maker for the theater and Hiroshi a Sumo wrestler.
This book gave me a front row seat to an eye witness account of how WW2 affected Japan. Gail wrote in such a way as for me to feel the heat, experience the pain and see the results of the atomic bomb. It will be life long memories of a nation at war under a brutal regime and how Japan came through it. I will never look at Japan the same.
At the end of the war a character says, “The number of lives lost abroad and at home was staggering. And in the end, what was it all for?” The author did a good job at showing the futility of the war. As I read I saw the senseless loss of families, the dislocation of the same. It was heart wrenching to experience these tragedies through the eyes of the characters.
I highly recommend this book. It’s not a book of surprises but of normal (if you can call it that in a war) Japanese lives. I had to will myself to keep reading at times but was so rewarded when I did. I came away with a great appreciation of peace time and a greater love for the Japanese people.

A fellow xangan recommended this book and I’m glad she did. Gina

Do you have any books/Authors that you recommend and why?

Lately I’ve been in such a pensive mood. I’m attempting to get my goals and direction solidified for the year and I’m not been very good at paying attention. I don’t mind seasons of pensive thinking but I can’t live there.

Word of the Day – Pensive

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