Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back
Tuesday, May 24
Two years after graduating from Yale, Janice P. Nimura moved from her native Manhattan to her new husband’s native Tokyo. Over the course of three years in Japan—where she worked as an editor and wrote for English-language newspapers—she became both proficient in Japanese and comfortable in her un-dreamed-of role as daughter-in-law to a Japanese family. This is the backdrop of the realization of Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back.
In 1871 five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to the United States. Their mission: learn Western ways and return to help nurture a new generation of enlightened men to lead Japan. Raised in traditional samurai households during the turmoil of civil war, three of these unusual ambassadors grew up as typical American schoolgirls.
Daughters of the Samurai was praised by the New York Times Book Review (Notable Book 2015), The Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Seattle Times (Best Books 2015), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, Buzzfeed: Best Nonfiction of 2015 as well Booklist’s 2016 Top Multicultural Nonfiction.
The book received critical acclaim from Stacy Schiff, Arthur Golden and Oprah, Daughters of the Samurai is a beautifully written, exhaustively researched historical biography that reads like a riveting page turning novel.
Photo credit: Lucy Schaeffer