The Demon in the Teahouse

( 9 )

Overview

The beautiful, mysterious women of Japan are being killed one by one. The famous samurai Judge Ooka knows he will need help to solve the crimes, so he turns to his newly adopted son, fourteen-year-old Seikei. Determined to prove his worth as a samurai, Seikei goes undercover as a teahouse attendant in the exotic "floating city" of Yoshiwara, where demons lurk among the pleasure seekers and no one is safe-not even a samurai.
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The Demon in the Teahouse

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Overview

The beautiful, mysterious women of Japan are being killed one by one. The famous samurai Judge Ooka knows he will need help to solve the crimes, so he turns to his newly adopted son, fourteen-year-old Seikei. Determined to prove his worth as a samurai, Seikei goes undercover as a teahouse attendant in the exotic "floating city" of Yoshiwara, where demons lurk among the pleasure seekers and no one is safe-not even a samurai.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
The book was engaging by providing clues when appropriate and supplying information on Samurai traditions. The characters, especially Seikei, maintain a human element without straying from the story line. Without realizing it, Seikei develops the qualities of a Samurai simply by being brave enough to put himself in the middle of dangerous situations. The themes of personal growth and development and coming-of-age are well supported through Seikei's experiences. An excellent choice for any ninth grader, young readers will enjoy this blend of history and mystery. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Mike Maturo, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Children's Literature
Fourteen-year-old Seikei has always admired the samurai ways. However, samurai traditions are handed down in families, and Seikei was born the son of a merchant. It seems he will never have the chance to train as a samurai. At least not until Judge Ooka, a well-known samurai and one of the shogun's most trusted officials, takes notice of Seikei. The Judge challenges Seikei and later brings him into his home. Finally, Seikei will receive the samurai training he has long desired. However, training is much more difficult than he expected, and Seikei wonders if he is meant to be a samurai. When someone begins murdering geishas in the city of Edo, Seikei sees a chance to prove himself. He poses as a teahouse attendee to gather information and help the Judge solve the crimes. In the process, Seikei learns much about danger, demons and revenge. This clever mystery is all the more thrilling for its exotic location. The Hoobler's provide a solid historical background and authentic characters in this chilling tale. 2001, Philomel, $17.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Heidi Green
KLIATT
In this sequel to the exciting mystery The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (reviewed in KLIATT in Sept. 1999), fourteen-year-old Seikei, the newly adopted son of the wise samurai Judge Ooka, enters the world of geishas to solve a series of perplexing murders. This "floating world" is an island near Edo, in Japan, where beautiful and accomplished geishas entertain "to make men forget their cares." Worldly troubles have entered this special place, however, as a series of fires and murders has been plaguing the teahouses. Seikei must pose as a servant in a teahouse to help the judge solve the tricky mystery. Along the way, the reader will absorb much of the exotic culture of Japan of three centuries ago, the era of the Shoguns, and learn about the ways of geishas. Seikei is a bold and enterprising protagonist, while his mentor is a sort of Japanese Sherlock Holmes. This unusual mystery will appeal to fans of historical fiction too. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Penguin Putnam/Philomel, 208p, $17.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-When several geishas are murdered and fires are set in the Yoshiwara district of Edo, Judge Ooka knows he must act quickly. Based on a real character in 18th-century Japan who was known for his reasoning and his ability to solve crimes, the man comes up with a plan. He strategically places his adopted son, 14-year-old Seikei, in a teahouse frequented by a popular geisha who seems to have some connection to both the fires and the murders, and he tells him to keep his eyes open. Conscientious and clever, Seikei quickly finds a number of clues, but in the process is accused of setting a fire. In and out of trouble, this feisty boy, whose greatest desire is to become a samurai, is almost killed, but in the end, he solves the mystery and learns a bit about what Bunzo, his instructor, told him in the beginning: "A samurai must possess the way of the warrior." This sequel to The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (Philomel, 1999) is a fast-paced mystery with a well-constructed plot that moves quickly and often in dramatic ways. Seikei is a likable hero, a believable detective who encounters characters of all types who add to the rousing adventure and suspense.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The authors of Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (1999) return to the Japan of nearly 300 years ago for another whodunit solidly clad in accurate historical and cultural detail. Barely has young Seikei, newly adopted son of Edo's chief magistrate Judge Ooka, begun his samurai training when he's called upon to help the Judge investigate a rash of fires and murders. That investigation takes Seikei into Yoshiwara, the "Floating World" district of geishas and tea houses where, thanks to sharp eyes, careful questions, and a few well-timed revelations, he tracks down the culprit—though not before being tricked, framed, threatened with torture, drugged, and, in a rousing climax, nearly burned to death, while battling the deranged wife of a samurai who had killed himself for love of a geisha. The expertly unraveled mystery, as well as the vivid, exotic setting and fast-moving plot, will delight fans of Lensey Namioka's historical thrillers. According to the afterword, Judge Ooka was a real, and renowned, detective. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781490901121
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 7/29/2013
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 734,426
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler are historians and authors of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. They are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997.

The Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library. The Hooblers make their home in New York City. They have one daughter and are active in community affairs.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler are historians and authors of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. They are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997.

The Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library. The Hooblers make their home in New York City. They have one daughter and are active in community affairs.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Great book

    I read this in the 3rd grade. At the time, I was pretty much obsessed with Japanese culture and the idea of a Ancient Japan-themed mystery fascinated me. So I checked it out at my local library, read it and loved it. I re-read it and re-read over and over, and kept checking it out until I just went ahead and bought myself a copy.

    The sheer number of times I read this book should be more than enough to prove what a good book this is. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Well writen, mysterious, adventurous, and well written!

    Good read for book lovers willing to dig deep into a mysterious world of a soup seller who goes to great measures to become a samuia's son and fufill all dutys. An ingaging read for people willing to go out of their comfort area and explore intreaging gashas with ingrossing stories. Travel with saikai as he makes his way to worlds he would have never visited but nearly dreamed of. Love sakai as he ignorantly gets cought up with a theif!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    This book is awesome

    When I read this book I checked it out from the library Eight times since then. If you love a good mystery and a little bit of history about another culture I would read these books and the rest of the series. Happy Reading!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2006

    A good mystery book

    The story takes place in ancient Japan, when samurai and ninjas existed. People thought that spirits and demons roamed the earth. This book takes you on an adventure that shows you what life was like back then. In the story, two samurai must find a vicious murderer who is looking for revenge and attacks people just like a demon would. The clues lead the two samurai to the last person they would ever think a suspect. Many of your predictions will be wrong (if you make any) because the book is unpredictable. I love the way that the author describes, with details, how the character feels, and what the enemy looks like. However, it is very annoying the way that the author uses ¡§He must have shown it¡¨ so many times, just like redundant writing. I would recommend this book to you because of its twists and turns, and because it is a book you will most certainly like, especially if you like samurai and detectives storys.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    Good book!

    I really liked this book. Though I disliked some parts of it, I really enjoyed a look into Japan's history -- and especially the geishas and samurai. The plot is well written, too. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction and mysteries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    ACTION PACKED

    The book I have read was ¿The Demon In The Teahouse¿¿by Thomas Hoobler. This book was about the times in Japan when the emperor ruled all. The times of the Samurai, and geishas (like hired dancers). In this book you will discover their world. This book starts out with a boy named Seikei, Son of a merchant, adopted by the great Judge Ooka (like a detective with a good reputation). The protagonist of this story is Seikei, while the antagonist goes unknown until later on in the story. The setting of this story in like I said, in old Tokyo, Japan. Seikei wants very badly to be a Samurai Warrior, but his trainer says he cannot be on account judge Ooka adopted that he. Seikei always asks to hear about the great samurai warrior¿s gods. One that he was amazed by shot 10,000 arrows in one day. While Seikei has a bunch of trouble shooting 50 in a day. Judge Ooka remains faithful in Seikei for to become a samurai so he wants him to continue training. Judge Ooka sends Seikei on his first mission, meaning he has to go apply for a job as a teahouse attendee. To find information on the crime. Which was that 4 Geishas were murdered by burning alive, all wearing the same dress. This crime wouldn¿t have bee brought to Judge Ooka attention if it wasn¿t for the fire being started in Seikei hometown of Edo. All were started mysteriously. Seikei once accepted as the teahouse attendee learns much about danger for the boy who had his k\job before wants it back. Even if it means to kill Seikei. Once Seikei puts a stop this this young boy, it become the biggest breakthrough in his case which leads him to solving it. To get the end of this story you are going to have to read it. I believe this book is a great book if you are into Samurais and old Japanese ways and such. This book is really a good page-turner. I promise you if you read 2 chapters, which aren¿t very long, you will not be able to put this book down. It has a great story line and character development.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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