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Synopsis

Born into a high-ranking samurai family at the onset of the Meiji period, Etsu Sugimoto's own life mirrored the radical shifts her country faced. Originally destined to be a priestess, she instead became the arranged bride of a Japanese merchant in Cincinnati, later returning to Japan with her daughters as the nation modernized swiftly.

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    I first read an abbreviated version of this book when I was fifteen. It was part of my required reading for English. It made a great impression on me and so, more than 30 years later, I was delighted to find it available as an e-book. It is an extremely interesting story of a Japan caught up in the transition between old, traditional ways and new, modern Western ways. It is told first-hand by Etsu Sugimoto herself and is an account of her life from when she was a small child growing up in this changing Japan and who, as an adult, eventually went to America to live after her marriage. I found her descriptions and explanations of the ancient traditions of Japan absolutely fascinating and looked at Western customs with new eyes as Etsu encounters them, sometimes finds them quite bewildering, and compares them to the customs of Japan. I absolutely love this book and will never tire of reading it.

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