Japanesque

Enter into one of the most fascinating cultures in the world through the world of fiction.

Across the Nightingale Floor

By Lian Hearn

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"...a story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme, filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry--and the intensity of first love. In a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals, Takeo must look inside himself to discover the powers that will enable him to fulfill his destiny."

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A Town Where the Lights Are Blue

By William Saffell

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"The 'town' is Yokohama. John Sky is a Vietnam War veteran who takes up residence there during the early 1970s. Finding work playing piano in a small jazz club, he immerses himself in the seductive lifestyle of the water business, a modern version of the floating world--a traditional metaphor for life's transient nature. This is an after-hours world inhabited by the people who work in Japan's bars and nightspots. While wandering the streets of this intriguing and sometimes dangerous landscape, Sky meets two women who will change his life forever: Sayoko, a young cabaret hostess whose ethereal beauty and mercurial mood shifts mask a tragic secret, and Miyako, an aging water business woman who says as much with silence as with words."
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Memoirs of a Geisha

By Arthur Golden

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"Sayuri's story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Through her eyes, we see the decadent heart of Gion -- the geisha district of Kyoto -- with its marvelous teahouses and theaters, narrow back alleys, ornate temples, and artists' streets. And we witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. But as World War II erupts and the geisha houses are forced to close, Sayuri, with little money and even less food, must reinvent herself all over again to find a rare kind of freedom on her own terms."

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