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'
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.
Recommended by Costco.
Moving story - also interesting information about sumo wrestling!!
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