October 01, 2017

Book Review: One Morning Like a Bird by Andrew Miller


Author:         Andrew Miller  
Publisher:    Sceptre, London. UK. 2008.
                      ISBN:           978-0-340-82514-3 
                      Pages:         37330

Life in Tokyo in the 1940’s through a young man’s eyes

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Set in Tokyo 1940, Andrew Miller tells the story of Yuji Takano who studies French at university and who one day dreams of being a writer.
Living at home with his parents we visit his life: his immediate family, relatives and friends of the family, meet the maids who take care of the house, the neighbours in the street, his part time job, go with him and friends as he goes to practice French at a traders house, riding on street cars in Tokyo (which have long disappeared), eating at street stalls and restaurants.
A historical fiction that shares the life and times of the era, the setting, details and relationships draw you in to be a part of the story.
It shares Yuji’s intimate thoughts and experiences as he journeys from teenager to a young adult.

Book Review   One Morning Like a Bird by Andrew Miller 

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September 01, 2017

Book Review: The Mask Carvers Son by Alyson Richman

Author:         Alyson Richman  
Publisher:     Penguin Group, New York. USA 2000.
                             ISBN:       978-0-425-26726-4 
                           Pages:       363

The art of Noh from the carver’s perspective

© Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com, 2015.  All rights reserved.

Alyson Richman shares a wonderful story of a boy adopted into a family of Noh mask carvers who picks up the trade handed down by generations of the same family.

The story is based in Daigo a town three hours from Kyoto we learn about daily family life, nature, house routines (folding up futons and buck wheat pillows) and the role of each family member.

From the perspective of culture we gain first hand insights into Noh, its history, the components of a performance and the different kind of masks for each performer. The carvers life provides a view into the world of wood and tools, how to pick wood, what types of wood is used and how to carve a mask using a range of tools.

The traditions of naming a baby after birth and the Shinto ceremony involved and the impact of Buddhist traditions on daily life to always remember and honour the dead.

An interesting story that weaves between the characters, culture, life in Kyoto, strong traditions and the secret passions of a young boy.

Book Review The Mask Carvers Son by Alyson Richman 

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