You are watching: The street of a thousand blossoms
Product DetailsGail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of 5 previous novels, consisting of Women of the Silk and also The Samurai"s Garden, and the recipient of the Academy the American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine mile Literary Award. She divides her time between El Cerrito and Napa Valley, California.
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Prologue 1966A day of No Regrets A white light seeped v the shoji windows and into the room, along with the morning chill. Other than for the futon the slept on and a teak hardwood desk, the pale, spacious room was empty. Hiroshi Matsumoto breathed in the grassy fragrance of the tatami mats, the sweet and also stirring February air; his thoughts hike to the cherry blossoms the would soon be poised prefer flakes of snow upon your branches. The trees that lined the roads of Yanaka, would certainly be in complete bloom, and the labyrinth of narrow alleyways would swarm with tourists stopping to admire the Japanese quince, daffodils, and blue triplet lilies blossoming in flower boxes that crowded the teeming walkways. Together boys, he and his brother Kenji propelled single-file previous the old hardwood and rock houses come the park. Now, there were few of the old structures left, long due to the fact that replaced by brick and concrete. Despite the spicy edge the memories the stabbed just below his ribcage, that still loved this season best, simply as Aki always had — the doorway to feather — every morning gleaming with brand-new possibilities. Almost two decades ago, his youthful agility had rekindled a national passion for sumo wrestling. In a country devastated by atom bombs that flattened cities and scarred their spirit, Hiroshi’s speed and also strength aided to recovery the proud of his country with every victory. He can barely save on computer the happiness he felt when at last he climbed the ranks. Not until he uncovered courage enough to touch v two finger the nape of his wife Aki’s neck did any thrill ever match it.Hiroshi thrust off his covers and stretched his human body the complete length of his extra huge futon, his muscular girth still impressive at his age. That had always valued strength and also speed much more than some other rikishi, sumo wrestlers who gained inordinate amounts of load to dominate a match by your size. In ~ thirty-seven, he to be a an excellent deal older, and at six-foot one, over a hundreds pounds lighter than the most heavy wrestlers, that weighed in at four hundred pounds. Hiroshi satellite up and also fingered the faint increase of a scar that ran follow me his hairline and also ended at his right temple, then rubbed his belly and also pushed his stormy feet to the sheet of the futon, his calluses a souvenir of barefoot practice on dirt and wooden floors. So plenty of years, he assumed to himself, and also he touched for luck the soles the his feet, very first the left, then the right, as he did every morning. Together Hiroshi heaved himself up indigenous the futon and also reached because that his kimono, the felt again that an initial step top top the dohyo. The smooth, sacred clay surface of the elevated straw ring to be a blessing after years of discipline, training, and also rituals. The scratching of his bare feet on the tatami carpet made a sad insect sound, not unlike the swish of salt thrown down on the ring to drive the end the angry spirits. Competition had been a strong and potent drug. Everyone and everything disappeared as quickly as he gotten in the ring, as if his life had actually simmered down to that really moment in time and nothing rather mattered. Nothing and also everything. He wonder once an ext if it had actually all to be worthwhile — the sacrifice that family, friends, and lovers for a sport. And only now, also late, could he check out the expense of the all as Aki’s accusing rigid flashed through his mind.A spicy knock top top the shoji door carried him out of his reverie. He conveniently tightened the sash of his yukata kimono, and grunted permission to enter. The door slide open. It was Haru, pull on in a dark blue padded kimono with a sample of white cranes. It looked new, yet strangely familiar to him, as if Aki had once worn one similar to it. It was Haru that had first introduced him to her sister, a lifetime ago. Aki to be the most beautiful girl he’d ever before seen — she clear, milky-white skin, the smooth, sharp curve of her chin, her covert fragility. Haru’s activities were quick and definite, her 0.dark eyes as intense and intelligent together they always were. Every morning, no matter the weather, she was the end walking in the garden v his six-year old daughter. And though Takara shared her mother’s classic beauty, he observed Haru’s toughness emerging an ext and much more in she each day. Haru bowed. “We’ll it is in leaving for the stadion soon,” she said. “Kenji-san is comes for united state after he choose up your obachan.” that watched Haru’s poised figure and also the exact same straight nose and also thin, crescent moon eyebrows that graced both sisters. They would certainly all be over there at his retirement ceremony, his grandmother, brother, Haru and also Takara. “Hai,” the said, swallowing. She moved across the room to slide open the shoji windows, admitting a cool breeze from the west. It filled the room through a sudden breath that promise. He cleared his throat yet said nothing.Instead, it to be Haru that spoke, together she looked the end at his acre of blossoming sakura trees. “A work of no regrets,” she said, as if reading his thoughts. And also suddenly, something tender and also inconsolable gripped his chest, whole life boiled under to these last hours. That rubbed his eyes and also nodded, constantly amazed at her astuteness.
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“What do you see?” the asked.Haru turned come him again. “Such beauty…” she began, there is no finishing her sentence...