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Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World (Paperback)

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*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography*
*Winner of the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award*
*Winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography*

With Tsuneno as our guide, we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions.

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*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography*
*Winner of the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award*
*Winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography*

A “captivating” (The Washington Post) work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West.

The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces—and a temperament much too strong-willed for her family’s approval—she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo, a bustling metropolis at its peak.

With Tsuneno as our guide, we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions.

More Information
ISBN 9781501188534
Length (cm) 14.0000
Width (cm) 3.0000
Height (cm) 21.0000
Publisher Scribner
Publication Date Jul 6, 2021
Pages (number) 352
Genre Literature & Fiction
Author Amy Stanley
Signed No
Format Paperback
Editorial Reviews

"An evocative and deeply researched portrait of 19th-century Japan through the events of one woman’s life in the decades before Commodore Perry’s 1853 arrival and the opening of the country to the West. Japanophiles and readers of women’s history will be entranced."—Publisher's Weekly

“Historian Stanley brings a deep knowledge of Japanese culture to a vibrant portrait of the Asian nation centered on the struggles of one defiant woman… an absorbing history of a vanished world.”—Kirkus

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