The Samurai's Garden

The Samurai's Garden

by Gail Tsukiyama
4.5 59

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Overview

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429965149
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/24/2008
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 69,397
File size: 339 KB

About the Author

Born to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father in San Francisco, Gail Tsukiyama now lives in El Cerrito, California. Her novels include Dreaming Water, Women of the Silk, The Language of Threads, and Night of Many Dreams.


Born to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father in San Francisco, Gail Tsukiyama now lives in El Cerrito, California. Her novels include Dreaming Water, The Language of Threads, The Samurai's Garden, and Night of Many Dreams.

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Samurai's Garden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, I thought, was amazing. The utilization of the different character's own lives to benefit the main characters' experience in Tarumi was superb. The fact that I actually became absorbed into the book was amazing, considering that has only happened when I have been reading James Clavelle's Asian Saga books. I honestly thought that this book would never end it was so good. I wish there was a sequel and that it was not just a novel. After reading it I felt like I had been in Tarumi myself. How I wish it were real so that I could visit. I love the fact that Tsukiyama used the garden as a way to reveal a lot about the characters. The fact that she even spoke of the conflict between the parents of the main character was amazing. Tsukiyama pulled of this topic with sucha short amount of pages with superb aplomb. I really reccommend this book to anyone who wants to have a good book for a change.
pjpick More than 1 year ago
It may take a while to get into this novel. Initially, I was concerned t this book would be a little to "fru fru" for me but after a while I became immersed in the Japanese culture and began to appreciate the peacefulness (that's the best word I can find) of the story. It is a different type of coming of age story. A story where honor is solely not admired but can also be very painful and can give a death sentence (well, that didn't sound peaceful but read the book and you will understand). Although it is basically a love story of sorts. The emotions in Tsukiyama's story are hidden--yet my eyes were welling up towards the end. I found the author's writing soft and picturesque. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE SAMURAI'S GARDEN is an almost perfect book. Not only is it well written, also it deals with significant issues: friendship, loyalty, love, cultural differences and biases, judgments that both hurt and heal. It reveals even more on a second reading--my test for judging a book as excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Samurai's Garden written by Gail Tsukiyama is a beautifully written novel that takes place during the late 1930s while a war between Japan and China occurs. The main character Stephen is a young Chinese man who becomes diagnosed with Tuberculosis and is talked into visiting his family's vacation home in Tarumi, Japan to help him recuperate quicker. During his year long stay in Tarumi, Stephen learns about his housekeeper, Matsu who plays an important role in helping Stephen develop on a personal and spiritual level which allows him to grow in many ways. During his stay, Stephen also meets a woman named Sachi who was diagnosed with leprosy at a young age and has suffered greatly throughout her life due to the Japanese culture. Not only does he meet many friends but he also meets a young girl named Keiko who he becomes deeply close with and a man named Kenzo who plays an important role not only in Stephen's life but Matsu's life as well. Overall, I would most definitely recommend reading this book because it's a great story of life, love, and happiness. I think I enjoyed this book so much because I really connected with all the characters and I was easily able to pull many experiences out of this book that connected with history and allowed me to see a story from many views. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story about personal growth, love, and a little bit of history. I hope that everyone enjoys Tsukiyama's novel as much as me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book in school when I first got it i figured I wouldnt like it im a 16 year old guy seems kind of like a girly book but I ended up enjoying it very much and am glad I read it I dont really want to say alot because I dont want to spoil it for anyone who decides to read it but if your not sure if you want to read it I strongly recommend you getting it
beingallison More than 1 year ago
My son is reading this for a History book and thought it would be boring, but he said it starts fast, and he doesn't want to stop reading it. The main character is a guy, but both male and female readers would like it. It is well-written.
ShannonEH More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book that engages the reader from beginning to end and leaves you wanting to read more about the characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gail Tsukiyama makes the reader care about what happens to her characters. While this is true for all her books, it is especially true for this one. We share a special time in the life of a Chinese young man who is sent to live in Japan with the caretaker of his grandfather's property. This unlikely pair forms a strong bond as secrets are revealed. You will love every minute you spend with them and feel a bit sad when the book ends just because it is over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story of honor, tradition, love and friendship. I am looking to read more by this author.
CLiu More than 1 year ago
Tsukiyama's beautiful novel is nothing short of fantastic. I am a young high school student who did not read this book for class; my freshman honors English teacher gave this book to me as a gift, and I have fallen in love with it. The story line drew me in almost instantly, and it is simple enough to comprehend. Additionally, a certain theme is shown throughout the novel, as seen in the title. The author's creative usage of imagery has allowed me to look at Tarumi, Japan in a very specific way, through Stephen's eyes. The stories of the residents of Tarumi and Yamaguchi introduced as readers proceed through the book are both heart-breaking and heart-warming to read as we are reminded that this story takes place during the tragic period of World War 2. In the end, Stephen is able to take away life-changing memories that he will never forget, and nor will readers. After reading this book multiple times, the end of the book still brings tears to my eyes. If you are interested in a mature work of art, this book is highly recommended.
karatepen More than 1 year ago
This is a simple beautiful touching story,told with depth,beauty,wisdom and exquisite grace.I loved reading something that grounded me into peace and beauty.It reminded me of the of the relevance of the small big things in daily living...This is a story of the experience of love,compassion,true values,the experience of old Japan ,China and the political turmoil of the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time. I read it to escape into the beautiful imagery and slow flow of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is simply amazing in the way it vividly captures all the details and makes us the readers feel like we were actually one of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We had to read the book last year in my english class. It is a truly beautiful and well written novel. Tsukiyama also came to our school and discussed the book with us. I highly recommend it! You will not regret reading it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Samurai's Garden transforms the reader to a Japanese coastal village in the 1930's during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Gail Tsukiyama weaves a delicately crafted story that carries the reader though conflicting harsh traditions and war, as experienced by a Chinese boy while he recovers from tuberculosis. A complex life-changing friendship develops between this Chinese boy, his family's Japanese caretaker (the Samurai), and the caretaker's special friend who is suffering from leprosy. The simplicity and clarity of the writer makes this novel unique and an enjoyable read. Each page is thought provoking and would make an excellent choice for book club discussions. It is a book for those who enjoy the conflict of humanity, learning about other cultures and history. One thing is for sure, it will leave you yearning for the next by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt transported to another time and place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was by far one of the most amazing books I have read. The writing is so beautiful it is almost musical! I have read several of Tsukiyama's books and they are all wonderful... But this one is a gem. The characters are well written and the descriptive writing is engrossing... You will not want to stop reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago