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Cloud of Sparrows


Cloud of Sparrows Cover

ISBN13: 9780440240853
ISBN10: 0440240859
Condition: Standard
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About the Author

Takashi Matsuoka was born in Japan and raised in the United States. He lives in Honolulu, where he was employed at a Zen Buddhist temple before becoming a full-time writer. Cloud of Sparrows is his first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Edward Hahn, November 22, 2014 (view all comments by Edward Hahn)
What a pleasant surprise! I had not heard of this author and was entranced with his mixture of historical fact, historical fiction and fantasy. As a former employee in a zen monastery, Matsuoka was also able to weave elements of that discipline into his narrative.

The timing, 1861, is in the middle of the Japanese transition from the shogunate to an empire. Genji, the main protagonist, is a Daimyo or Great Lord, and a far thinking samurai warrior, who recognizes the power of the Westerners and questions the weaknesses of his own highly structured, militaristic, blood soaked society. He is also subject to visions of the future as was his father, Kiyori, and his uncle, Shigeru. It runs in the Okumichi clan.

He has invited missionaries, Zebediah Cromwell, Emily Gibson and Matthew Stark to Japan and has agreed to let them build a church on his estates. Genji is also madly in love with Heiko, the pre-eminent geisha of her time and she with him. His closest retainers Sohaku, Kudo and Saiki are all dedicated to the old ways of the samurai society and often don't understand where Genji is headed but their dedication and obedience does not allow them to gainsay their master. The head of the Shogun's secret police Kawakami has dedicated himself to the destruction of the entire Okumichi clan.

The story unfolds from there as plots, counter-plots and counter-counter plots are undertaken. The insights into the thinking processes and behaviors of the Japanese are fascinating and accurate as far as I know. I was carried into a land I know little about and loved every minute of it.

I plan to read subsequent books from Matsuoka and highly recommend this one, his first.
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Product Details

Matsuoka, Takashi
Dell Publishing Company
Historical - General
Historical fiction
Love stories
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.94x6.38x1.09 in. .63 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Cloud of Sparrows Used Mass Market
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Product details 592 pages Dell Publishing Company - English 9780440240853 Reviews:
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