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The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.

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The Samurai's Garden
Average rating
4.3 / 5
LOVE this book
July 17th, 2015
This book might not be for those seeking action and adventure. The Samurai in the book isn't literal its a reference to strength of heart and soul. But when I read this book, which I have at least 3 times, I feel like I'm back in Japan. This book sets the feeling of the Japanese country side beautifully and reminded me of how I felt in Nikko my favorite city. It also has a beautiful story about the human spirit and heart and makes me feel good to be human (coming from someone who would usually rather be most any other Star Trek species that's saying a lot).
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