Gail Tsukiyama’s book “The Samurai’s Garden” (1994) is a book I’ve had my eye on for at least a year. It was donated to my library and when we added it to our collection, I thought to myself, “this is a book I want to read.” A touch of melancholy and reality are what I connected to. Set just before WWII in Japan with both Japanese and Chinese characters, the story blossoms amongst a tragedy of war and warring cultures. Teaching tolerance and kindness across the two cultures permeates throughout. Love, in the form of both deep friendship of romantic nature are gently laced throughout the story. Written in first person, I felt the gentle nature of Stephen-san. Viewing relationships and a comprehension of changes in his family and friends was very moving. His lack of fear of people who might be viewed as fearsome was inspiring and spoke of kind tolerance or loving-kindness. The story’s garden was meaningful in the sense of rebirth and of hope for the future. Highly recommended for those who want a gentle melancholic story filled with remembrances of the past and hope for the future tinged with peace and love, family and friends, and tolerance of those who are different from us on the outside, but old-sames on the inside.

 The author has a new book out that I am hoping to read soon, “The Street of a Thousand Blossoms” (2007).