Read The Tokaido Road (1991)(528p) Online

Authors: Lucia St. Clair Robson

Tags: #Historical - Romance

The Tokaido Road (1991)(528p)

 

“ROBSON DELIGHTS US

 

She revels in the language and reveals the Japanese as a poetic, witty people.”

The Washington Post Book World

 

“Engrossing . . . Re-creates the colorful people, stunning landscapes and arcane customs of feudal Japan . . . Robson keeps the story moving deftly through the separate worlds of courtesans, warriors, priests, peasants, poets and actors, with an eye to the complex rules that govern them all.”

San Francisco
Chronicle

 

“THE TLKAIDL ROAD has an authority of detail and atmosphere that can only come from careful, extensive research and a lively historical imagination. Cat is an intriguing character [and] many readers will enjoy following her travels.”

jeanne larsen

Author of
Silk Road
and
Bronze Mirror

 

“Lucia St. Clair Robson, who has captured a loyal following with her American historical novels, now turns her considerable talents to an actual incident in Japan in this absorbing novel.... Robson has added her special creativity to her superbly detailed research and written an unforgettable novel.”

Rocky
Mountain News

 

“CAPTIVATING AND TRANSPORTING ...

 

What is to us an unfamiliar world comes absolutely alive.”

Cosmopolitan
Magazine

 

“Excellent ... A fast-paced, rousing adventure tale skillfully interwoven with one of Japan’s great stories: the early eighteenth-century vendetta of the forty-seven
rMnin
or masterless samurai. Robson is well informed about Japan and Japanese history and... she maintains a sound historical framework for her tale.”

paul varley

Professor of Japanese History

Columbia University

 

“A grand tale for anyone with a fondness for rich adventures... A real gift to those who know and are continually intrigued by Japan, its people and their history ... THE TLKAIDL ROAD is replete with detail and colorful images that offer wonderful insights into the ways of ancient Japan. It is a skillfully woven tale that is captivating and thoroughly entertaining.”

Annapolitan
Magazine

 

‘THE TLKAIDL ROAD is an engrossing novel. Its main characters are complex and believable; its minor characters offer wonderful insights into feudal Japan. Most astonishing is Lucia St. Clair Robson’s grasp of detailed aspects of life in the early Tokugawa Period. A
Canterbury Tales
backdrop to an
Eye of the Needle
suspense story. I read it in one sitting!”

robert oxnam

President, The Asia Society

Author of
Cinnabar, A Chinese Mystery

 

 


A
SUMPTUOUS,

EXTRAVAGANT, AND EXOTIC

SENSUAL FEAST . . .

 

A sweeping tale of vengeance, mystery, adventure, intrigue, and love set in early 18th century Japan ... Filled with a myriad of accurate and colorful historical details, THE TLKAIDL ROAD is a lush, picturesque read. Readers will feel as if they have been steeped in Japanese tradition, language, and poetry. ... Masterful.”

Rave Reviews

 

“A richly detailed saga ... The experience of the road, with its quixotic encounters, exquisite verbal images and vibrant sights, and sounds and smells, grows almost as significant as the journey’s goal—making this a charming, unusually memorable adventure. Earthy, humorous, lively—and a veritable encyclopedia of the ways of old Japan.”

The Kirkus Reviews

 

“Replete with hand-to-hand battles, rooftop chases, and perilous escapes, their adventures are also rich in details of customs, attire, ritual, and terrain, punctuated with poetry. This depiction of an era commands interest. Recommended.”

Library Journal

Also by Lucia St. Clair Robson

Published by Ballantine Books:

 

RIDE THE WIND

WALK IN MY SOUL

LIGHT A DISTANT FIRE

 

THE

TLKAIDL ROAD

A NOVEL OF FEUDAL JAPAN

 

Lucia St. Clair Robson

 

 

BALLANTINE BOOKS • NEW YORK

 

Sale of this book without a front cover may be unauthorized. If this book is coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher as “unsold or destroyed” and neither the author nor the publisher may have received payment for it.

 

Copyright © 1991 by Lucia St. Clair Robson Maps copyright © 1991 by David Lindroth

 

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 90-93213

 

ISBN 0-345-35639-X

 

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Hardcover Edition: March 1991

First Mass Market Edition: May 1992

 

For Brian, my companion on the Road.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

I would like to thank Dr. Yoji Kondo for his advice in the writing of this story. His knowledge of the complexities of Japanese history and culture and of the vicissitudes of fiction were invaluable. If errors remain in the text, the author takes sole responsibility for them.

Friends in Japan have also encouraged, aided, and sheltered me while I researched the tale of the forty-seven
rMnin.
In 1970 the Nakatsu family of Iwakuni allowed me to live in the tea house in their enchanting garden where I could not help but fall under the spell of Japan. In twenty years, that spell has only grown stronger. Also in 1970, Shizuko Osaki, doll-making
sensei
extraordinaire, tried her best to steer this outlander through the intricacies of Japanese society. She’s been a true friend and mentor ever since and I owe her a special debt of gratitude.

In Otake, my old friend Masaaki Hirayama and his family took me into their home. Masaaki helped me find information and drove me to places hard to reach even on Japan’s marvelous rail system.

For all these friends’ continuing generosity of spirit I can only give inadequate thanks. Likewise, the Japanese who have befriended me on my travels are too numerous to name, but their kindness to a stranger will always be remembered.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PRONUNCIATION OF JAPANESE WORDS

NOTE

TÕKAIDÕ ROAD MAP

TÕKAIDÕ MAP 2

THE TLKAIDL ROAD

 

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

CHAPTER 69

CHAPTER 70

CHAPTER 71

CHAPTER 72

CHAPTER 73

CHAPTER 74

CHAPTER 75

CHAPTER 76

CHAPTER 77

CHAPTER 78

CHAPTER 79

EPILOGUE

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

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