An Imperial Concubine's Tale Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-Century Japan

Review :

There is much to admire about G.G. Rowley's book. She has taken on the difficult task of tracing the life of Nakako, an imperial concubine in 17th century Japan. With little record of the lives of women remaining, Rowley's role is similar to that of a detective, assiduously and perceptively piecing together what Nakako's life must have been like from a wide variety of sources. And what a life Nakako had -- as the title says, scandal, shipwreck, and salvation! Rowley brings to vivid life a place and age far different from that of modern readers with a masterful sense of detail. Beyond the pleasurable experience of learning about Nakako and the world she inhabited, reading Rowley's book is also highly entertaining. The author has a droll style which made me smile appreciatively throughout. Rarely have I enjoyed a book of history so much.


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