The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama – 211 pages
A 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen 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 soul-mate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
My Review: 5 stars
The Samurai’s Garden is a tranquil, calming and highly thoughtful book. With a love story at its heart, this book also carries a strong message about beauty. Beauty is expressed in many forms, even during the worst of circumstances, which is shown throughout the novel with metaphor, Japanese traditions and a woman with leprosy.
Set during the time when the Japanese invaded China by severe military domination makes a unique contrast to the tranquil beach town setting in Tarumi, Japan.
This book is enlightening while peaceful with much Japanese history at its heart. Its a short book that packs a punch within its small size. I highly recommend this!
Quotes I liked:
Sometimes you can’t let go of the past without facing it again.
Beauty exists where you least expect to find it.
Bravery is when you step in to help when you have nothing to lose.