The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

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St. Martin's Press, Sep 4, 2007 - Fiction - 422 pages
14 Reviews
"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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kerns222 - LibraryThing

A Japanese-POV, teenage romance history of horror and recovery with some chaste babymaking and a kiss or two, but they were long after the bombs and firestorms over Tokyo. A tour of tradition with ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mamashepp - LibraryThing

This is the story of two brothers, Kenji and Hiroshi, who have been raised by their grandparents after their parents died. The story spans nearly thirty years and includes quite a large cast of ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of five previous novels, including Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s 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.

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