Posts tagged ‘Japan’

Night Boat

Review by Robin Hull

This fascinating book by Alan Spence is set in Japan of the early 18th century when that country was completely separated from the outside world and was an intensely hierarchical and feudal state. The book takes the form of a biographical novel in which the protagonist becomes a Buddhist monk – but the book, though centred on Buddhism, is more of an allegory on that period of Japanese life and history.

The story is held together by an account of the roadway from Edo, the former name of Tokyo, and Kyoto, the early capital. This highway or path, called the Tokaido, was a major and much travelled route (more…)

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November 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment

Light and Darkness

Review by Steve Savage

Set in Japan in the early 20th century, the action of Light and Darkness takes place while Tsuda, a recently-married man aged nearly 30, prepares for and undergoes an unpleasant operation and is persuaded to confront his lingering feelings for Kiyoko, a woman who refused to marry him and chose someone else, by arranging to meet her, supposedly by chance, at an inn in the mountains. The novel was unfinished at the death of Natsume Sōseki, its author, and so the reader can only guess at the consequences of the meeting between Tsuda and Kiyoko. (more…)

January 30, 2011 at 11:34 am Leave a comment


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