Competition: Win a Selection of Japanese Fiction Books!
We have a fantastic competition launching today! This is your opportunity to win a selection of 6 Japanese fiction novels, kindly donated to us by some extremely talented authors.
Jill Rutherford: Secret Samurai Trilogy
Secret Samurai Trilogy is not the usual kind of samurai book. The story is a time-travel adventure involving two women who become samurai and the two men they fall in love with and the women’s influence upon them.
The first is a modern English woman who is time-travelled in and out of the mind of a samurai fighting in the civil war of the 1860’s which dragged Japan into the modern world. She lives two lives in parallel (modern and old Japan).
The second is an aristocratic woman of the 1860’s who is forced to disguise herself as a samurai in order to survive the war. Living as a samurai gives her influence and respect – things she has never experienced as a woman of her time. She becomes intoxicated with the power of it and this takes her life down unprecedented paths.
The historically accurate story revolves around the war and politics of the time, and they play an important part, but it is more about the relationships of the four main characters, their development, ambitions and perceptions and how their lives change.
Nicholas Hogg: Tokyo
A HAUNTING MODERN FABLE OF LOVE AND LOSS. Social psychologist Ben Monroe has returned to Tokyo after a failed marriage, determined to seek out his former lover Kozue. His estranged teenage daughter Mazzy reluctantly flies from California to join him. On the flight she meets a young Japanese man, Koji, a cult survivor, who tells her the story of the luminous night princess Kaguya, a powerful tale of beauty and obsession. As Ben delves deeper into the underworld in search of Kozue, Mazzy and Koji are compelled to follow, and their four lives dangerously intersect as past and present collide.
Lesley Downer: The Shogun's Queen
Japan, 1853. Growing up among the samurai of the Satsuma clan in Japan’s deep south, the fiery, beautiful and headstrong Okatsu has been encouraged to be bold, taught to wield the halberd and to ride a horse. But when she is just seventeen, four black ships appear. Bristling with cannon and manned by strangers who to the Japanese eyes are barbarians, their appearance threatens Japan’s very existence, turning Okatsu’s world upside down.
Chosen by her feudal lord, she has been given a very special role to play. Given a new name - Princess Atsu - and a new destiny, she is the only one who can save the realm. Her journey takes her to Edo Castle, a place so secret it cannot be marked on any map. There she seems doomed to live out her days - sequestered in the Women’s Palace, home to three thousand women and where only one man, the shogun, may enter.
But beneath the palace’s immaculate facade, there are rumours of murders and ghosts. It is here that Atsu must complete her mission and discover one last secret: the secret of the man whose fate is irrevocably linked to hers ... the shogun himself.
Renae Lucas-Hall: Tokyo Tales
Renae Lucas-Hall leads the reader into an enchanting, life-affirming and inspiring world of Japanese short stories in Tokyo Tales. You’ll love the way each story embraces the charm and allure of Japan and you’ll enjoy these stories even if you have a limited knowledge of this fascinating country. These fifteen magical tales include a hellish homestay, ghosts, school bullying, a marriage arrangement and the kawaii culture. Lucas-Hall’s captivating way of storytelling will deepen your appreciation of the Japanese culture and provide you with a glimpse into the Japanese mind-set which will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. Prepare to be enthralled by the illuminating illustrations throughout Tokyo Tales by the renowned Japanese Illustrator Yoshimi Ohtani. These wonderful images and the delightful narrative will harness your imagination and leave you spellbound.
How to Enter
Simply share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter using the sharing icons at the bottom of the post, and comment below telling us what inspires you most about Japan or Japanese culture.
The winner will be chosen on Wednesday 27 January.
UK entrants only due to the size and weight of the books.