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4 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

by

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of Noh theater masks. 

But as the ripples of war spread to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on holdand forge their own paths in a new Japan. Meanwhile, the two young daughters of a renowned sumo master find their lives increasingly intertwined with the fortunes of their fathers star pupil, Hiroshi.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a powerfully moving masterpiece about tradition and change, loss and renewal, and love and family from a glorious storyteller at the height of her powers.

Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of five previous novels, including Women of the Silk and The Samurais Garden, as well as a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She divides her time between El Cerrito and Napa Valley, California.

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 holdand 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.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook.  Please email academic@macmillan.com for more information.

"The Street of a Thousand Blossoms has epic ambitionsconsiderable scope, encompassing the years 1939-66; a multitude of significant characters; and recurring moments of tragedy and redemption. But it's written in the reassuringly small-scale style of a folk tale, characterized by short anecdotes and a heavy dose of morals . . . Tsukiyama's prose is simple and slow, at times seeming to strive for the kind of eloquence found in a Noh play, whose centuries-old art depends on stylized action to create tension and drama."Louisa Thomas, The New York Times
"The Street of a Thousand Blossoms has epic ambitionsconsiderable scope, encompassing the years 1939-66; a multitude of significant characters; and recurring moments of tragedy and redemption. But it's written in the reassuringly small-scale style of a folk tale, characterized by short anecdotes and a heavy dose of morals . . . Tsukiyama's prose is simple and slow, at times seeming to strive for the kind of eloquence found in a Noh play, whose centuries-old art depends on stylized action to create tension and drama."Louisa Thomas, The New York Times

“[Tsukiyama] writes with eloquence and feeling. Her prose is so finely wrought that you smell the rotting persimmons and the sawdust from wood being sanded in a mask shop. You are chilled by the mist rising in a Japanese mountain valley and even feel the heat and stench of the flames consuming parts of Tokyo during a World War II firebombing. This book is a feast for the senses . . . Tsukiyama has the soul of a storyteller.”Denver Post

 
"A fascinating, intricate portrait of Japanese customs and rituals that floods the senses."USA Today
 
“Tsukiyama's writing is clear and spare, and the thoughts and actions of her characters are accessible, believable. She unmasks their intentions for us, making it all the more tragic when they misread one another.”Seattle Times
 
“Tsukiyama has long been known for her emotional and detailed stories. This time, she has gone even deeper to explore what happens to ordinary people during frightening and tragic times.”Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love

“Gail Tsukiyama is a writer of astonishing grace, delicacy, and feeling. Her lyric precision serves not only to leave the reader breathless but to illuminate human suffering and redemption with clarity and power.”Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

 

“Covering the years of the war and after, on the home front of Japan, Tsukiyama tells a powerful story of family, of loss, and of endurance with her usual insight, her perfect imagery, and her unforgettable characters.”Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

 

“Gail Tsukiyama takes us into the world of sumo, allowing us to experience what exists beyond the rituals and the wrestling: the fascinating culture of contact and the intimacies of family love and devotion. This is an impressive achievement.”Elizabeth George, author of What Came Before He Shot Her and Write Away: One Novelists Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life

 

“A master storyteller . . . Gail Tsukiyama expertly and beautifully weaves together the lives of a sumo wrestler and his family, and a Noh mask-maker through World War II and into the 1960s.”Jane Hamilton, author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World

“Tsukiyama is a mesmerizing storyteller . . . [her] historically detailed and plot-driven story of resilience, discipline, loyalty and right action is popular fiction at its most intelligent, appealing and rewarding.”Booklist

“Tsukiyama returns to the historical fiction genre and brings to life another sumptuously written work . . . As in her other novels, Tsukiyama proves to be adept at capturing sensory detail.”Library Journal

"Tsukiyama tackles life in Japan before, during and after WWII. The story follows brothers Hiroshi and Kenji Matsumoto through the devastation of war and the hardships of postwar reconstruction. Orphaned when their parents were killed in a boating accident, the boys are raised by their grandparents in Tokyo. In 1939, Hiroshi is 11 and dreams of becoming a sumo champion, and soon Kenji will discover his own passion, to become a master maker of Noh masks. Their grandparents, Yoshio and F

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of "Women of the Silk" and "The Samurai's Garden" has written a powerfully moving story of tradition and change, of loss and renewal, and above all, of the enduring strength of family ties.

Synopsis:

It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of Noh theater masks. 

But as the ripples of war spread to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on hold—and forge their own paths in a new Japan. Meanwhile, the two young daughters of a renowned sumo master find their lives increasingly intertwined with the fortunes of their fathers star pupil, Hiroshi.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a powerfully moving masterpiece about tradition and change, loss and renewal, and love and family from a glorious storyteller at the height of her powers.

About the Author

Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of five previous novels, including Women of the Silk and The Samurais Garden, as well as the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She divides her time between El Cerrito and Napa Valley, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312384777
Author:
Tsukiyama, Gail
Publisher:
Griffin
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
Tokyo (Japan)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.32 x 6.47 x 1.235 in

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The Street of a Thousand Blossoms Used Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9780312384777 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of "Women of the Silk" and "The Samurai's Garden" has written a powerfully moving story of tradition and change, of loss and renewal, and above all, of the enduring strength of family ties.
"Synopsis" by ,

It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of Noh theater masks. 

But as the ripples of war spread to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on hold—and forge their own paths in a new Japan. Meanwhile, the two young daughters of a renowned sumo master find their lives increasingly intertwined with the fortunes of their fathers star pupil, Hiroshi.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a powerfully moving masterpiece about tradition and change, loss and renewal, and love and family from a glorious storyteller at the height of her powers.

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