The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

by Gail Tsukiyama | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0312274823 Global Overview for this book
Registered by UnwrittenLibra of Middleton, Wisconsin USA on 6/11/2009
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14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by UnwrittenLibra from Middleton, Wisconsin USA on Thursday, June 11, 2009
Not my favorite Gail Tsukiyama, but it's her newest and an interesting departure from the female-centered novels she usually writes. The writing isn't as strong as her others and I noticed a bunch of spelling/punctuation errors and one or two continuity errors. Overall, though, it was pretty good.

It's going on a little trip - a bookring, that is!

Standard rules apply, add a fun postcard diary documenting the book's travels, please!

Order:
1. arabd - Toluca, Mexico
2. Stacers1973 - Gladstone, Oregon, USA
3. lauraloo29 - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
4. megami-no-ushi - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
5. amidabutsu - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
6. AceofHearts - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
7. Elmindreda - Budapest, Hungary
8. spoiledrotten - Fair Lawn, New Jersey, USA
9. imawinn2 - Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
10. Back to me: UnwrittenLibra - Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Journal Entry 2 by UnwrittenLibra from Middleton, Wisconsin USA on Friday, June 12, 2009
Traveling today from Baltimore-Roland Park Station, Maryland to Toluca, Mexico!

Journal Entry 3 by arabd from Toluca de Lerdo, Estado de México Mexico on Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I received the book, thanks UnwrittenLibra.

I begin to read it immediately after the bookring that came before.

My regards

Updated Jul. 13, 2009 -> I have finished the before bookring, so I have started to read this book.

Updated Aug. 03, 2009 -> This weekend, I started with the Part two. Sorry for the delay, if you want the book already, please let me know this, and I will sent the book.

I love the first part, it was so shocking and emotive. I like this book until now.

Updated Aug. 14, 2009 -> Yesterday I started with the Part three. I have sent a PM to Stacers1973 for his/her address. I will send the book when I have the information.

Journal Entry 4 by arabd at Toluca, Estado de México, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Mexico on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (8/19/2009 UTC) at Toluca, Estado de México, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Mexico

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This book continues its trip to Oregon.

Thanks for the waiting.

I liked this book very much, it's very interesting. The parts One and Three were my favorites.

Thanks to UnwrittenLibra!!!

Journal Entry 5 by Stacers1973 from Gladstone, Oregon USA on Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday - August 29 ... Book Rec'd ... Thanks for including me UnwrittenLibra, and arabd for passing it on ... should start today or tomorrow, looking forward to it! :)

Journal Entry 6 by Stacers1973 from Gladstone, Oregon USA on Monday, September 07, 2009
This is the first Gail Tsukiyama I have read and I am sure I want to read some more of her books. I liked the way it was broken into parts and I think Part 1 was my favorite, just getting to know each character and connect all the dots. There were many things I found sad, on top of the obvious things. For one, sometimes the individuals seemed at such unease with certain personal traits that they hid their true selves even from themselves (I think this was noticeable with Kenji who seemed to overcome some of this and his sensei, Akira Yoshiwara, who didn't). For another, tragedy after tragedy takes it toll, but also shows the strength the characters possess to forge ahead, even if they get a little lost along the way. I loved the ferocity and deep honor of the mask making and the sumo and the tenderness of the many sibling relationships. I think I will recommend this book to my mom, who is not a big reader but does enjoy a good story. I really liked the many layers of this book.

Thank you again Unwrittenlibra for sharing this book - I have PMed Lauraloo29 and will move it on when I hear back.

Journal Entry 7 by Stacers1973 at Gladstone, Oregon USA on Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (9/9/2009 UTC) at Gladstone, Oregon USA

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Mailed today to Lauraloo29 in Canada @ 4:00 p.m. Enjoy :)

Journal Entry 8 by winglauraloo29wing from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Sunday, September 20, 2009
This arrived while I was on vacation. I'm having issues with getting back to the "real world", but I will keep this book moving. Thank you!

Journal Entry 9 by winglauraloo29wing from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I just cannot get into this book. I normally like these types and I do like the author. My reading time has been drastically cut and I don't want to hold this up. Thank you for sharing. It will be on its way this weekend.

Journal Entry 10 by megami-no-ushi from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sorry for the late reply. The book arrived at my office last week and got misplaced in the shuffle for a few days. Shouldn't take me long to get through, so I hope to send it off within 2 weeks!

Journal Entry 11 by megami-no-ushi from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Sunday, November 08, 2009
I really enjoyed the book - I basically read it in two sittings. I don't know if anyone else in the ring has had the opportunity to visist the atomic bomb museums in Nagasaki and Hiroshima or have spent any time in Tokyo, but having done so creates this utterly viseral sense of what the book in conveying, no matter how subtle. I'll be PMing the next participant for a mailing address and will send of the book as soon as I hear back.

Journal Entry 12 by megami-no-ushi at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada on Monday, November 09, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (11/9/2009 UTC) at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada

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I stopped by the post office on the way home tonight and mailed it off to Nova Scotia!

Journal Entry 13 by amidabutsu from Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada on Monday, November 30, 2009
the book is here! i'm about to finish one, and i will start it immediately after.

thanks for sending it my way.

Journal Entry 14 by amidabutsu from Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada on Monday, January 18, 2010
i finished it quite some time ago and forgot to journal it, oops.

i really liked it: the way it's written, the way it's organised, the way characters are connected in ways that are some times obvious and some times subtle... i would not say it's a happy book, not a single character is spared, but it has a certain serenity to it, which makes it not depressing.
i thought too it was interesting to have a snapshot of what life was like for japanese civilians during WWII. history tends to be told from the perspective of the winners, and in north america, little is known of the realities of the everyday people who lived in the countries on the other side of the battles.

Journal Entry 15 by amidabutsu at Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada on Thursday, April 08, 2010

Released 8 yrs ago (4/6/2010 UTC) at Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

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i finally mailed it. thanks to everybody for being so patient.

Journal Entry 16 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, April 10, 2010
received in the mail. Thanks!!!

Journal Entry 17 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The book starts in a suburb of Toyko in 1939. Two boys who have been orphaned are living with their grandparents. Their grandparents love their grandsons and want them to find their passions. The elder brother, Hiroshi is becoming quite good at the national obsession, sumo wrestling. Just as the war starts he is accepted for training at a facilty run by Sho Tanaka. The younger brother is more creative and interested in carving masks for the Non theater.

World War II intervenes. Tsukiyama paints such a vivid picture of the war years in this suburb; the shortages, starvation, home front police bullies and the awful air raids. Each of the brothers is affected. Hiroshi's training is stopped or rather never really starts and Kenji's sensei or master eventually disappears.

This book covers a span of about thirty years. It deals with both the war and the occupation and finally the Americans leaving Japan. It deals with the brothers and the growth of their passions and their search for how they fit into the traditional Japan and the post war modern Japan. The brothers and their loves, their sorrows and joys and triumphs are very well portrayed and brought to life.

I loved this book and the way Tsukiyama described life. It felt so real. The way of life for sumo wrestlers and the traditions and amount of work involved in the Non mask carving were extremely interesting.

Journal Entry 18 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, May 25, 2010
mailed today to Hungary

Journal Entry 19 by Elmindreda at Budapest, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Hungary on Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Sorry for the long delay everyone!! I was travelling, but the book got here and was retrieved by my sister, and I'll be reading it starting tomorrow, I promise!

Journal Entry 20 by Elmindreda at Budapest, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Hungary on Sunday, January 09, 2011
Again, sorry for delaying the ring for so long! The book is now on its way to spoiledrotten in New Jersey. Was mailed January 6th, 2010.


The book was a nice read, I enjoyed the setting and that I got some insight into the world of sumo, a theme I would never have explored otherwise.

*****SPOILER*****
The only thing I didn't like was that there were waaay to many deaths. And not even always war related, like that train accident. Almost everyone dies outside of the two main characters!!... :(
**end of SPOILER**

Journal Entry 21 by spoiledrotten at Waldwick, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Received in the mail today and will be my next read. Thanks for including me and sending it on!

Journal Entry 22 by spoiledrotten at Waldwick, New Jersey USA on Friday, February 04, 2011
I really enjoyed this book. The story was told beautifully. I will try and send out tomorrow. Will journal then.

Journal Entry 23 by spoiledrotten at Neenah, Wisconsin USA on Saturday, February 05, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (2/4/2011 UTC) at Neenah, Wisconsin USA

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Sent off to the next person. Enjoy!! Thanks so much for including me and sending to me.

Journal Entry 24 by imawinn2 at Neenah, Wisconsin USA on Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Received the book today. I will say this, when it rains, it pours. This week alone, I received 3 bookrings/ray. I'm a fairly fast reader but I don't think I'll be able to read all three books in a month. But I will do my best to get this back to UnwrittenLibra in a fairly timely fashion. I also look forward to reading all the cool postcards that BCers have placed in the book. Very neat to see where this book has traveled.

2/19/11: Started reading.

Journal Entry 25 by imawinn2 at Neenah, Wisconsin USA on Thursday, March 17, 2011
A heartbreaking story but one laced with hope as we follow the lives of the orphaned brothers, Hiroshi and Kenji Matsumoto. This was a fabulous book and found myself immersed in this tale and thoroughly enjoying the characters. This was the first experience I have had with Gail Tsukiyama's writing and I felt she was a wonderful storyteller. Her characters faced tragedy with quiet determination and found solace and healing in nature, art, tradition and family.

As I came to the end of this story, Japan is again facing a horrific situation. This time it is not the effects of war but of nature. Our hearts are saddened by the events of the massive earthquake and tsunami that have stricken Japan. My thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people as they face these dark times.

Journal Entry 26 by imawinn2 at Neenah, Wisconsin USA on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (3/18/2011 UTC) at Neenah, Wisconsin USA

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I forgot to make note of when I sent this off. I sent the book off on Friday, March 18th. Enjoy all the postcards.. I know I enjoyed looking and reading them. Happy Travels!

Journal Entry 27 by UnwrittenLibra at Baltimore, Maryland USA on Friday, March 25, 2011
Arrived back in Baltimore, MD today - with an excellently recorded diary of book adventures across the USA, Canada, Mexico, Hungary, South Africa, and Japan! I will soon upload a picture of all the goodies :) Thanks to everyone who contributed to a great bookring - I hope you all enjoyed it very much!

Journal Entry 28 by futurecat at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, April 21, 2011
Unwrittenlibra mentioned that this book has been to every part of the world except Australasia, so I couldn't resist taking it home with me :-)

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Journal Entry 29 by futurecat at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, November 11, 2011
I haven't forgotten my promise to get this book to one more continent, so I'll be taking it to the Wellington Uncon next weekend where I hope to convince one of our Australian guests to take it home with them.

In the meantime, it finally made it to the top of Mt TBR. Like previous readers, I enjoyed (is that the right word for something so horrific? was fascinated by, anyway) reading a new perspective on the war, seeing the effect on the Japanese people. The description of the Tokyo firestorm in particular was harrowing but gave an amazing insight into what dropping bombs really means to the people underneath (and living myself in a city that's recently suffered widespread devastation, it was heartening to read how quickly Tokyo rose out of the ashes and became revitalised - I hope Christchurch can do the same).

My only quibble is that the pace was sometimes a bit fast - to get through 30 years the story often felt as if it was flicking from year to year like one of those calendar page-turning scenes in an old movie. I would have liked the narrative to slow down more often to give a description of the minutia of life (which was done so well in the bits where it was done), especially post-war when there were so many changes.

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Journal Entry 30 by Pixette at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 18, 2011
Picked up tonight at the Wellington unconvention. It needs to travel to australia and I'll take it back with me.

Journal Entry 31 by Pixette at Crown Hotel/Upstairs Library Bar in Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Released 6 yrs ago (12/13/2011 UTC) at Crown Hotel/Upstairs Library Bar in Sydney, New South Wales Australia

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To be released at sydney christmas meetup

Journal Entry 32 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Picked up at Xmas bookdrinks last night. This has quite the bookcrossing pedigree!

Adding it to the top of a toppling Mt TBR, hopefully I'll get to it soon, or keep it travelling.

Journal Entry 33 by tqd at Crown Hotel, Elizabeth St in Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Released 6 yrs ago (5/8/2012 UTC) at Crown Hotel, Elizabeth St in Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia

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Too many books TBR on my shelves, time to let some go unread... Releasing at BookDrinks tonight.

Happy hunting/reading!

Journal Entry 34 by wingFlightwing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Picked up at the May 2012 Sydney BookCrossingMeetUp.

Journal Entry 35 by wingFlightwing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, September 10, 2012
I enjoyed this book and will read more by Gail Tsukuyama. I am always interested in books set in Japan (of any era). I do agree with some of the comments that the author tried to cover a lot of chronology, at the expense of letting the characters develop more. Still, it was very interesting.

Near Oeno station in Tokyo there is a remnant of suburban villages like Yanaka. Modernised, of course, but not out of recognition. It miraculously survived the firebombing. There is also a small museum in the same general area, but not near the village/neighborhood, with repilcas of shops and houses that is very interesting. Recommended to anyone visiting Japan.

Journal Entry 36 by wingFlightwing at Crown Hotel/Upstairs Library Bar in Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, September 10, 2012

Released 6 yrs ago (9/10/2012 UTC) at Crown Hotel/Upstairs Library Bar in Sydney, New South Wales Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

To be released at the September 2012 Sydney BookCrossingMeetUp, at the Crown Hotel, 162 Elizabeth St, in the upstairs Library Bar.

The Sydney CBD BookCrossing MeetUp happens on the second Tuesday of the month from 7pm (or a bit earlier) to 9pm (or whenever the conversation winds down). All readers welcome! Get on the list for an invitation to a future meeting by going to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bcsydmeetup/ ... but you don’t need an invitation to turn up. Just bring a book to release.

Journal Entry 37 by wingFlightwing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Unfortunately, everyone seems to have read it, so it remained at orphan at the end of the evening, at the September 2012 Sydney BookCrossing MeetUp.

Released 6 yrs ago (9/18/2012 UTC) at Pyrmont Community Centre Book Exchange in Pyrmont, New South Wales Australia

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Put on the shelf at the wonderful Pyrmont Community Book Exchange Book Crossing Zone.

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