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Date Posted: 16:23:58 10/13/06 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Sword and Blossom

Here's one kindly sent in by Linda H. Thanks, lass!



TITLE: Sword and Blossom: A British Officer's Enduring Love for a
Japanese Woman

AUTHORS: Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams

GENRE: Non-fiction


A hundred years ago, as Japan was entering into the Russo-Japanese
War, it was also forming an alliance with another island kingdom -
Great Britain. Captain Arthur Hart-Synnot was one of several British
Army officers sent to Tokyo to learn Japanese and the customs of his
country's new allies. What was supposed to be a short-term
assignment quickly turned into more when he met Masa Suzuki, a young
woman working at the Tokyo officers' club. Unfortunately for the
lovers, the treaty between their two countries did not last as long
as their love for each other. The tragedy of two world wars hits
close to home for both of them.

The authors of this book pieced together the details of Arthur and
Masa's relationship from the recollections of their daughter-in-law
and quotes from some 800 letters Arthur sent Masa during the nearly
40 years he knew her. (Her own letters unfortunately went missing
some time during World War II, so our only hint of her voice in this
book is when Arthur responds to something she's written in one of his
letters.)

After reading this book, I think somebody needs to write a novel or
do a movie about this couple. There's certainly plenty of material
for a good tearjerker here and I would love to see Masa fully fleshed
out in a way non-fiction writers couldn't do without her missing
letters.

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Replies:

[> I think you are right - this would sound good in novel form. For me, I don't enjoy books culled from letters, especially if the letters are quoted extensively, but the premise is intriguing. Thanks for the review! -- beccabee, 16:13:37 10/16/06 Mon

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[> Thanks Linda, though it sounds way too sad for me. -- Margy, 13:19:17 10/17/06 Tue

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