Eight Million Gods and Demons – Hiroko Sherwin

Google Books synopsis:

A haunting portrait of a fascinating age-Japan between the Meiji Era and the end of World War II

In Meiji-era Japan, where the standard of beauty is the graceful geisha and the greatest joy a woman can hope for is to produce healthy heirs for her husband, an idealistic Japanese politician named Taku takes Emi as his child bride.

Emi, a gifted koto player, cherishes Taku’s doting love. But the couple can’t conceive, and Taku’s work takes him away more and more often. When she finally gives birth to a healthy son, Emi dares hope that the preternaturally intelligent Jun will help mend the rift in her marriage.

That is, until she meets Hana, an extraordinarily beautiful and wicked geisha, and discovers a betrayal so devastating it would take the aid of eight million gods and demons-the number of deities in the Japanese pantheon-to overcome.

When I bought this book at BBW last year, I thought it’s another book about geisha and all Japanese culture related. However as I read through, the story actually revolves around 3 generations of the Imura family. You can check a full review at curledup.com.

It shows that not all Japanese people were happy to be part of the War, men and sons were drafted to foreign land in the name of honor for the Emperor. It gives me a different point to ponder. This is certainly not an easy book to read but I managed to finish it in 2 nights.

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