An evocative historical novel with a sting in the tail, Shipwrecks is set in medieval Japan; in a coastal village where a father sells himself into indentured servitude to save his family from starvation.
He leaves the responsibility for the family's continuing survival with his nine year old son Isaku. Forced to grow up well before his time, Isaku must learn quickly to trap saury fish and to distil salt; and is faced with a number of mysteries, not least his own nascent sexuality and the legend of O-fune-sama, of ships wrecked offshore providing the village with unexpected bounty.
As the end of his father's bondage approaches, and another ship founders on the rocks, Isaku and the villagers rejoice. But the cargo is not at all the manna of their hopes. At first mystifying, then terrifying, this cargo is about to change their lives forever.
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"a haunting and beautifully rendered tale of enduring optimism." ( The Herald)
"Yoshimura's chronicle of pre-industrial Japan is economically told. It has an austerity that gives Isaku's matter-of-fact narrative the universality of folklore, but with a haunting other-worldliness." ( The Guardian)
"It has all the turbulent power of the sea that dominates the narrative, and the haunting fatefulness of the ways of nature and myth which dominate the book's themes." ( The Scotsman)
"Set against this tapestry of near-nihilistic misery, Yoshimura's chiaroscuro touches of hope and love hint at something more profound." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"A laconic, exquisitely paced story." ( Sunday Times)
Akira Yoshimura was born in 1927. He is the prize-winning, best-selling author of twenty novels and collections of short stories. He is the president of Japan's writer's union and a member of International PEN.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801510021151.0
Book Description Harcourt, 1996. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Isaku is a nine-year-old boy living in a remote, desperately poor fishing village on the coast of Japan. His people catch barely enough fish to live on, and so must distill salt to sell to neighboring villages. But this industry serves another, more sinister purpose: the fires of the salt cauldrons lure passing ships toward the shore and onto rocky shoals. When a ship runs aground, the villagers slaughter the crew and loot the cargo for rice, wine, and rich delicacies. One day a ship founders on the rocks. But Isaku learns that its cargo is far deadlier than could ever be imagined. Shipwrecks, the first novel by the great Japanese writer Yoshimura to be translated into English, is a stunningly powerful, Gothic tale of fate and retribution. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0151002118
Book Description Harcourt, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0151002118
Book Description Harcourt, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0151002118
Book Description Harcourt, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110151002118
Book Description Harcourt. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0151002118 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0064089