Reading at the Beach is hosting A-Z Wednesday where bloggers take the time to highlight one book that starts with the letter of the day. This week is the letter I.
In the Shade of Spring Leaves: The Life of Higuchi Ichiyo with Nine of Her Best Short Stories by Robert Lyons Danly is a book I read many years ago. I had fully intended to paste in my own review of the book but I've just discovered that my old geocities site is completely gone and with it, 12 years of book reviews. Admittedly I last checked it over a year ago and foolishly didn't back it up at that point but I did want to save all my reviews when I heard it was going to be kaput soon but I guess that wasn't to be. ::sad sigh:: And so I cannot reproduce my thoughts on this book, instead, here's what a reviewer on amazon.ca has this to say:
After celebrating a golden age that was hundreds of years ahead of other civilized nations, women in Japan quickly fell from the cultural vanguard they had enjoyed during the Heian and were silent throughout the succession of bakufu governments that ended with the Meiji restoration in 1868. Ichiyo is widely credited as one of the first female voices to re-emerge after this extended silence. Though her career was cut short by her early death, several of her short stories are still in wide circulation in Japan and elsewhere. The beauty of this book is that it not only includes her own writings but also a rather deftly crafted biography. It has been my experience that non-Japanophiles tend to shy away from Japanese literature for lack of understanding the culture. The inclusion of the biography in this work makes it more approachable for those wishing to delve into the world of Japanese literature without undertaking a study of Japan's history and culture.