Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reading Journal: The Street of a Thousand Blossoms"

This book is written in spare prose, much like Japanese poetry, conveying deep emotions with few words.
Gail Tsukiyama begins her story in 1939, showing the gentle, honorable side of ordinary Japanese people. Hiroshi and Kenji are two brothers being raised by loving grandparents. I was drawn into this intimate world by her quiet description of how they climbed a watchtower each evening to listen to a neighbor girl practice her cello. As war news raged around them, the grandfather buffered it by cautioning them..."Everyday of your lives, you must always be sure what you're fighting for."
The brothers are extremely different in personality, physique and interests. Hiroshi is consumed with the desire to become a sumo champion, while Kenji is fascinated with creating masks for Noh actors. This advice always lingers in the backs of their minds and helps them correct their courses as they struggle to find their way in a world trying to reconcile tradition and change. It is also the heartbreaking story of the women who love them.
Background paint was "Melted Butter" and "Lavender." Used a Pitt F pen and a Pitt brush pen for the title.

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