The story of a boy whose dream of becoming a sumo wrestler is interrupted by WWII. Besides being a delicate and personal story about engaging characters, it is rich with the fascinating details of Japanese traditional culture around Sumo wrestling, Noh theater and day to day life-and to see WWII from the various points of view of the Japanese. Frankly, I would never have wagered that I'd find myself so utterly compelled by a story with sumo wrestling as the central thread. — Heather Bellanca
Written with eloquence and authenticity, Gail Tsukiyama's sixth novel chronicles the life of two orphaned brothers raised by their grandparents just before, during and after WWII in Tokyo. Hiroshi climbs the ranks of sumo wrestling, while dutiful younger brother Kenji graduates from university, but finally pursues his lifelong dream of becoming a maker of Noh theater masks. Over the span of thirty years, Tsukiyama captures the intricate nuances of life in Tokyo during the war and engagingly details the relationships and lives of this Japanese family. — Northshire Staff
Japan, 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms in Tokyo, two orphaned brothers are growing up with loving grandparents who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise in sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating exquisite masks for actors in the Noh theater. But as the ripples of war spread all the way to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on hold--and then forge their own paths in a new Japan. In a powerfully moving story that spans almost thirty years, Gail Tsukiyama brings her acclaimed depth of character and emotion to her biggest canvas yet--an epic novel of tradition and change, of loss and renewal, and above all of the enduring strength of family ties--at a turning point in modern history.
"Gail Tsukiyama expertly and beautifully weaves together the lives of a sumo wrestler and his family, and a Noh Mask Maker through World War II and into the 1960's. She has always been a wonderful story-teller but in The Street of a Thousand Blossoms she proves herself to be a master story-teller." --Jane Hamilton, bestselling author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World "Gail Tsukiyama is a writer of astonishing grace, delicacy, and feeling. Her lyric precision serves not only to leave the reader breathless, but to illuminate human suffering and redemption with clarity and power."--Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
"The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a generational saga, both sweeping and intimate...Tsukiyama tells a powerful story of family, of loss, and of endurance with her usual