"Royall Tyler's translations are nothing short of superb—crisp, restrained, ably balancing the ribald and the profound."—Booklist
Sensitive, compassionate, and indomitable, Mistress Oriku has abandoned the pleasure trades of Tokyo to run an elegant teahouse on the city's outskirts. Despite her hopes for a quieter, less hectic life, she finds she can't escape her involvement in the city's creative, intellectual and political circles.
Oriku finds herself the subject of unanticipated attention, because along with her passion for music, theater and storytelling, she offers her own invaluable talents: a vibrant appreciation of life, an unparalleled gift for hospitality, and the maturity and sensitivity necessary to instruct young people in the all-important arts of love. Her independent thinking and love of Tokyo's traditions offer a unique perspective on the surprising complexity and contradictions of the Japanese culture of the era.
Now available in English for the first time, Japan's beloved Mistress Oriku is filled with clear-eyed nostalgia for the vanished—and entirely captivating—world of old Tokyo.
"They say the pleasures you taste first in middle age are like rain that starts later in the day."