a slightly smarmy posh girl goes off on the mores, customs, culture, and world-view of the sword-bearing feudal class of old Japan. tellingly put out by an academic publisher in the UK, the work is at most didactic reaffirmation of old-fashioned values of duty and honor, but suffers from the same narrow-viewpoints of social conservatives. Sugimoto apparently doesn't have a revolutionary bone in her body, but although there are moments of charm, on the whole the work is forgettable. we're supposed to sit through three hundred pages of being told how the super elite super blue samurai with their elaborately intricate forms of address are the highest form of culture, and life consists of sitting in a tatami room absorbed in the zen calligraphy of a 780-year old temple, but c'mon face it, 2013, we're all on caffeine and speed now.
if one must, for whatever reasons, build a Japan library, such would be a minimal addition to the collection. but otherwise, of little outside interest or staying power.
Sugimoto was apparently a figure of local/regional repute, but compared against the entirety of world literature, she falls a little short.