In this widely popular novel—with over 100,000 copies in print—beloved California author Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as the somber backdrop for an unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen Chan.
When Stephen is sent, on the eve of World War II, to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from tuberculosis, he comes under the care of Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secrets, gaining not only physical strength but profound spiritual insight. For Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world. In Stephen he finds a noble student, one eager to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing life ways—and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
Sensitive, genuine, insightful, and accessible—equally rich in its compelling characters and situations—The Samurai's Garden is a well-written, multi-faceted story blending art, culture, society, history, and personal experience.