The Street Of A Thousand Blossoms
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a family saga set in a suburb of Tokyo, which begins in the turbulent 1930s and ends in the 1960s, as Japanese culture reinvents itself after the horrors and deprivations of war. Two families—a total of seven characters—tell the story. In one, a father must raise his daughters after their mother dies in the infamous Tokyo firestorm. In the other, brothers, whose parents have drowned, are raised by loving grandparents. We experience the desperation, hunger and fear of the war years, and the growing sense of betrayal and anguish felt by ordinary citizens. Defeat and occupation is followed by renewal, as Japan is reborn upon the strong bedrock of tradition. The children mature and begin to explore their own lives. One brother becomes a great sumo, the other a great artist. One sister becomes an independent, university-educated modern woman, while the other struggles simply to live. The chapters are broken into small segments by point-of-view shifts, the literary version of a perfectly presented plate of sushi—various, jewel-like and delicious. Sensitively written, compelling.