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Kimura, Rei

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  • My Name is Eric

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    No one can argue with the cliché that a dog is “Man’s Best Friend” from time immemorial. But has anyone ever look behind this airy statement and see what Man’s Best Friend is really like INSIDE of him? His thoughts, his perceptions of life and how he sees his relationship with us?

    This is the story of Eric, a precocious, irreverent male Pomeranian and is told from HIS perception of life and how he views his best friend, Man! It is a delightful story filled with a myriad of emotions ranging from tear jerking touching moments to Eric’s humorous and satirical descriptions of his relationship with his family and all the other humans who have the misfortune of crossing his path!

    “My name is Eric and a piece of gilt edged, important looking paper says I am a male Pomeranian of retired champion and show dog bloodline, place and date of birth, a remote dog breeding farm, deep inside rural New South Wales, Australia on the 16th of Dec, 1997” is how he declares himself!

    We follow Eric through his journey to dog spas, dog funerals and a whole horde of crazy activities and here is what he had to say about them!

    “And ok, I hate to admit it but I was more than a little curious about this craze that was razing the pet community like a raging bush fire. It tickled me pink to see those glossy brochures of dogs lying in tubs of bubbling water surrounded by flowers and glowing tea candles, God, what were all those humans thinking of?”

    This thoroughly irreverent Rogue Pomeranian has fetishes and “bargains” with his family over his own misbehavior!

    His favorite quote?

    “Well, they don’t say it’s a dog’s life of being misunderstood, misinterpreted and misquoted for nothing!”

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  • Japanese Peony

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    The Princess & The Spy

    “My name is Yoshiko Kawashima, some call me Aisin Gioro Xianyu in Manchuria but to many in my circle who knew what I did, I am known simply as the Japanese Peony after my favorite flower! I have lived a colorful and covert double life of intrigue and lies, I’m even supposed to have been executed in 1948! So I really can’t complain that I managed to make it to “old bones” but day by day, as my body grows weak, the burden of the secrets that will die with me grows heavier. I need to tell my story and change history forever!”

    Born into the royal family of Prince Su and a relative of Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, Yoshiko was a princess. How, one might ask, did a Chinese Princess from the royal house of the Qing Dynasty become a spy for the Japanese Secret Service Unit? This book sets out to put all the disjointed pieces of a huge puzzle together to answer that question!

    This book also looks at the fascinating covert activities of Yoshiko as a spy, planning and engineering some of the most famous Japanese incursions into China that made her a historical figure never to be forgotten.

    But in the midst of so much hardness, angst and high living were two poignant moments in Yoshiko’s life when she loved and lost first Yamaga, a Japanese military officer and in the final years of her heydays, Jack Stone, an American journalist.

    In 1945, when Japan lost the war, Yoshiko was betrayed by her bodyguards and captured by Chiang Kai Shek’s men and sentenced to death for treason and espionage. History has it that she was executed on 25th March, 1948 but as in life, her “death” was shrouded
    in mystery and intrigue. Was she executed or did she cheat death in a daring swap with a dying girl paid to take her place?

    This is the true story of Yoshiko Kawashima and her spectacular life as a princess and a spy. We travel with her through the breath taking maze of her early years in Manchuria evolving to her turbulent life in Japan as the adopted daughter of Naniwa Kawashima and his cold, disdainful wife, Natsuko. The trail then takes us on a whirlwind arranged marriage to a Mongolian prince which lasted just one year and on to a glittering life in Shanghai where Yoshiko was recruited by the Japanese Intelligence as a spy for Japan and finally to Peking where she ended up in Prison No. 1 with an execution order on her head.

    It remains a mystery whether Yoshiko Kawashima was actually executed on 25th March, 1948, the official stand of China is that she was executed.

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  • Memoirs of a Community Cat

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    This is a heartwarming story told by Abby, a veteran stray cat who insists, “We are not strays, we are community cats! Just as humans are citizens of their countries, we are citizens of the communities we live in!”
    It brings to life the many stray cats who live in almost every community giving each cat featured in this book a face, a heart, feelings, thoughts and the same fears and happiness of the humans who can make their lives a blessing or a curse.
    Abby, the macho yellow male cat walks us through his very colorful adventures and experiences as he and his siblings and friends live each day to the fullest of their nine lives, never knowing whether they will be alive at the end of the day! There is never a dull moment and some harrowing matching of wits with those who hate their very existence and believe that community cats should neither be seen nor heard!
    The lead star of this witty community cat drama is Abby, strong, arrogant and adventurous, he is the boss and what he says goes!
    Then there is Choc, his brother, good natured, sanguine and a perfect gentleman who is wise and calm beyond his cat years!It has even been said that a woman would choose Abby for a lover and Choc for a solid dependable husband! There is Calico, Abby’s friend and “crush,” pretty, precocious with a temper to match and her direct antithesis, Sister, a surly, snarling aging matriarch of the neighboring cluster of community cats whom Abby calls “the ugliest and meanest feline that ever existed.”

    Each cat is a vibrant character of its own that you will mostly love as they share their lives with you. There is this rhetoric that every creature is created for a purpose so what on earth are community cats created for? Perhaps to bring out the compassion and better qualities in humans manifested here in the much loved “feeders” who feed and care for them, giving of their time and money to make the lives of these less fortunate creatures of God, tolerable.

    The story ends with this haunting rhetoric, “life will go on till our lease on earth runs out. I think I still have many good years left and I absolutely refuse to think what old age and dying on the streets might be like. I have no thoughts about the future because living life to the fullest this week is more important than next week!”

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  • Skirts in the Boardroom

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    Three young women arrived in Tokyo from the small towns of rural Japan with nothing but a burning ambition and the vague knowledge that somehow, their lives would be different. With so many odds stacked against them, what were the chances that their ambitions would eventually be realized? And at what cost? The fourth woman, Emi is from an affluent family in Tokyo but her privileged life did nothing to lessen the odds stacked even higher against her.
    This is the tense, smoldering story of four young Japanese professional women from diverse backgrounds and a big score to settle with their female unfriendly society, whose lives converged in Tokyo where they met by chance and started the ‘four pillars.’
    Well educated, vibrant and ambitious, the four women, Suzue, Sachi, Tomoko and Emi are bonded by their common struggle to break out of the system which traditionally placed Japanese women as the coffee and tea serving ladies of the corporate world.
    This gripping story is set against the backdrop of vibrant, contradictory and pulsating Tokyo, the capital and heartbeat of Japan and the way life is really led in a country where traditions and extreme modernity co exist in perplexing harmony.
    Through the stormy and sometimes racy maze of boozing at Tokyo’s many bars and discos to the string of men that weaved in and out of their lives to the tune of Suzue’s ‘expiry date’ song and quieter moments of just crashing out of the limelight and bonding with each other, the four self styled pillars depend on each other for the therapeutic support and healing from the spiritual and mental scars of constant corporate and societal warfare. They are truly “soulmates” in Tokyo.
    Together and yet apart, each woman has her own secret yearnings and dreams and having forced their way into the boardrooms of Japan, what lies ahead for them? Will and can the parallel lines of their ambitions and personal lives finally converge or travel forever, open ended and unresolved?
    Through the turbulent lives and experiences of these four women told with plenty of satire and bitter sweet humor, this book also gives the reader an honest look at modern Japanese society as it struggles to co exist with die hard traditional practices, prejudices and mindset.
    This book has a lot of insight into life in Japan as it actually is and in particular the growing number of young professional women who want more out of life than their traditional roles. It’s very real, it’s life in Japan and the fractious struggle of young women of modern desires against die hard traditional values.

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  • Alberto Fujimori of Peru

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    Fujimori represents the determination and diligence of Japanese or Asian migrants in their host countries and he is a bridge between two cultures, East and West.
    This book also takes an interesting look at the personal and political life of President Alberto Fujimori of Peru, tracing his roots to a small town in Japan and may well be the only biography on him written in English.

    To give you an idea of this book, below are excerpts of the reviews done on this book:
    “Cool Hand in a hot Latin Office”
    “The immigrant’s son who became President of Peru”
    ‘Straight out of a Hollywood drama”

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  • Japanese Orchid

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    Can a successful and powerful entrepreneur with an impeccable reputation and moving in the highest circles of New York be born out of wedlock to a Japanese prostitute during the Second World War?
    Obviously someone thought it was possible and Tetsuyo Akinicho’s life spins into a sinister spiral of suspense and blackmail.
    ‘Your mother is not resting in peace. You should be ashamed of your ancestors. Do people know where you came from?’
    An email plunges Tetsuyo and his lawyer, Akira Tanaka into an intricate maze of damage control manoeuvres involving Paul Griffin, a well known American private investigator and his assistant, Japanese historian, Mayumi Onodera.
    Their investigations lead to one shocking discovery after another and Tetsuyo is once again drawn back to the past in an aching voyage of discovery of his roots and the mysterious and painful tragedy surrounding the woman who gave him life, his biological mother.
    Tetsuyo comes to terms with the fact that no one can ever really shake off the past, not even a powerful multi millionaire riding high in his world of super advanced DNA technology. The past he shares with the ghosts of World War 2 are coming back to haunt him in the form of a faceless blackmailer and Tetsuyo is drawn back to confront the place where it all started, a Japanese cemetery in Singapore and a tiny, nondescript head stone.
    Powerful and yet poignant this thriller chases the characters through three cities, New York, Tokyo and finally Singapore. At the end of the day, someone had to be the loser and Tetsuyo Akinicho was determined it would not be him…..

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  • Aum Shinrikyo – Japan’s Unholy Sect

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    On the 26th of March 1995, sarin gas was released in a Tokyo subway station crammed with morning rush hour commuters and all hell broke loose.
    In the aftermath of anguish, death, painful injuries and broken lives, the deadly action was traced back to a cult called Aum Shinrikyo.
    What lay behind this ferocious lashing the cult had given to the orderly, uncluttered society Japan was so proud of? What dark sinister secrets lay behind the walls of the Aum Shinrikyo compound in Kamikuishiki at the peaceful foothills of Mount Fuji?
    Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a Yokohama lawyer took up the challenge of finding answers to these questions and one cold, gray November morning in 1995, the young attorney, his wife and ten month old son disappeared without a trace.
    This is the chilling story of how a young lawyer sacrificed his life and that of his poignantly young family to stem the reign of terror of the cult’s guru, Shoko Asahara. The investigation into the cult that followed uncovered a chilling trail of murders, disappearances and evil plans to destroy mankind with nerve gas and other weapons of mass destruction.
    For six long years, Tsutsumi Sakamoto called out from his lonely hillside grave and on September the 6th, 1995 he was heard at last. His body was discovered and the crab shells strewn all around told a chilling tale of how his killers had coldly feasted on crabs as they threw his body into that lonely unmarked grave he did not deserve.
    Sakamoto and his family had died to right a social wrong and to expose the evil plans of deadly terrorists crouching dangerously behind the cloak of religion, the rest was up to the living.

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  • Like A Willow Tree

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    A willow tree, soft and flowy on the outside, unbreakable and strong on the inside, left to brave the lashings and extremities of wind and storm but never quite breaking.
    Hanako Ishigaki was just 9 years old when her father decided to uproot the family from traditional and beautiful Kyoto and migrate to Hawaii.
    ‘You are not uprooting this family to some strange outlandish place where we will have to start all over again and maybe never be accepted,’ his wife ranted. ‘Why, Kazuo? Why? We are Japanese and we should live here till the day we die.’
    But this was one time Kazuo Ishigaki refused to budge.
    We follow Hanako’s arduous journey to Hawaii on a passenger liner and the shock of finding no one waiting for them there. By a sheer stroke of luck, if one could call it that,  the Ishigaki family, used to much better times and lives, ended up in Kauia Island in a Japanese settlement called Furusato to work in a sugar plantation alongside thousands of Japanese migrants. The book describes the colorful lives of the Japanese migrant community in Hawaii in the eyes of the young Hanako and the conflict of two cultures, east and west.
    How eventually did Hanako end up in the big city, Honolulu, where she was to meet James Robertson and start a love affair that was to span and survive 35 years of separation, war and betrayals to end one cold afternoon in a sterile hospital room where the loose ends of two people’s lives and passion finally came together to find closure.
    And then, one day, at the peak of the post Pearl Harbor backlash on Japanese Americans, when Hanako thought that living behind barbed wires at the Japanese American internment camp of Manzaner, they had hit rock bottom, there was that dreaded knock on the front door and a soldier served a deportation order to Japan on them…..
    This story is told against a gripping backdrop of war and the horrors and humiliations of the Japanese American war internment camps following Pearl Harbor. But even in the most dire and hopeless circumstances people can dream and Hanako and her best friend, Melanie Tanaka dreamt of pitching their unusual talent in fashion designing into the world of haute couture and high fashion. The odds against them were as unscalable as Mount Fuji in winter but dreams were free….
    As the overcrowded ship carrying hundreds of deportees labeled ‘enemy aliens’ approached the shores of Japan, Hanako told herself firmly. ‘We’re going to be all right here, I’m sure of that!’
    Was she right? Or would things get really bad before they became better? So many things happened to shake and test the strength of this willow tree that readers may ask how did she continue to get up after each blow?
    This book is based on the true story of the turbulent life of Hanako Ishigaki as she was tossed around by the winds of migration, war internment camps and an incredibly unlikely and impossible love affair woven into it to add poignance to a story of great courage and determination to survive and succeed against all odds.
    How will it end?

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  • A Note from Ichiyo

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    Behind every face is a life and a story…
    The Japanese 5,000 yen note circulates round the world and changes hands every minute but has anyone really stopped to look at the face on this note?
    Take a closer look and you will see the face of a young Meiji era Japanese woman looking serenely out at a 21st century world she has never known nor ever dreamt she would be a part of someday.
    What is the story behind this face that moved Japan so much as to put it on a Japanese legal tender, an honor accorded to no other Japanese woman?
    ‘A Note from Ichiyo’ is the story of the turbulent life, struggles and achievements of Ichiyo Higuchi, a young Japanese female writer of extraordinary talent and the tongue in cheek ability to effortlessly cut through all the rigid constraints of being a woman in a man’s world and ended up having the world, including some of the most prominent male writers, at her feet, grudgingly so but still at her feet!
    Ichiyo’s agonizing, enduring and unfulfilled love for Nakarai Tosui, a rakishly handsome writer of some repute is also told, showing the vulnerable and passionate side of a woman whom many of that era thought to be too masculine for her own good.
    She was brazen and unapologetic that she was a woman without any formal education or prominent family backing and she cut through all the lines of prejudice and acute poverty to emerge, a star that shone much too brightly, just months before her death at the tragically young age of 24. And then, just as suddenly as she had appeared, Ichiyo Higuchi was gone, like a butterfly that flew in to dazzle within its short lifespan. The only difference was that Ichiyo Higuchi continued to dazzle long after she was gone and her poems and novels are read and honored hundreds of years later, a surreal dream started over 200 years ago come true…
    This is the story of Ichiyo Higuchi whose face is now immortalized in the 5,000 yen Japanese legal tender, it is truly a testimony of one woman’s determination, courage and faith to defy all odds, even from beyond the grave.

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  • Butterfly in the Wind

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    This is the true story of the tragic life of Okichi Saito who became the pawn to placate Townsend Harris, the first American Consul to Japan in the turbulent mid 1800’s. This poignant story takes place during a period in history when the “Black Ships” arrived in Japan and changed many lives, especially those of Okichi and her fiancé and lover, Tsurumatsu. Like a butterfly, Okichi was beautiful but fragile, easily tossed about and bruised by the stronger forces of political wheeling and dealing.

    The story takes the readers on a journey from the wild windswept fishing village of Shimoda to the colorful world of the geishas Okichi was literally sold into, then onto the awesome stage of politics and power and finally to a lonely outcast who walked into the  icy waters of the Shimoda Bay one cold grey March morning….

    Review: Rosalie Whitney says, “…author and journalist Rei Kimura has put yet another tear in the veil of mystery that still surrounds early Japanese-American relations.” She goes on to add, “Butterfly in the Wind” is a complex layering. The particular period of this history – when the ‘Black Ships’ were arriving in Japan and causing upheaval in so many lives – is excellently painted. This is a wrenching, beautifully written story and one very worth reading.”

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  • Japanese Magnolia

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    Can a Japanese samurai of impeccable lineage in Edo period Japan get away with being gay?
    Can he break all the rules of society and get away with it?
    It all started when an aging samurai took an eccentric interest in a teenage peasant boy who had the unusual gift of writing and one day he brought his son, Lord Okimoto to the peasant’s house. The eyes of the samurai’s son and the teenage peasant met and spawned a forbidden love affair which broke all the rules of Japan’s Edo period society and a feudal class so sharply defined that it could cut like a knife.
    Four centuries later, an ancestor of Lord Okimoto finds a diary written by his peasant lover unfolding the anguished tale of a forbidden life went wrong, leaving behind a trail of destroyed lives, broken dreams and a few deaths.
    The spirit of the gay samurai who put duty and obligations above his poignant love travels one whole circle to arrive to the 21st century in a final twist to this intriguing story of how two young men dared to break all the rules in conservative unforgiving 18th century Japan.

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  • Sale!

    Awa Maru – Titanic of Japan

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    In 1945 as the Japanese Empire in South East Asia started to crumble, the Japanese communities began desperate scrambles for passages on any available vessels back to Japan.
    A Japanese hospital ship, the Awa Maru was given a guarantee of safe passage to 2007 Japanese civilians and military personnel who had been ‘fortunate’ enough to secure places on board. On the 27th of March 1945, amidst much joy and tears of farewell, the ship set sail from Singapore en route to Japan carrying some men but mostly women and children. The scramble for passages had been fierce and selective and the 2007 souls on board counted themselves very lucky to have been selected for the trip home.
    But as the Awa Maru sped northwards towards the coast of China, a series of circumstances emanating from a sudden changed course and miscommunications of cable messages changed their luck into a horrific and sinister tragedy.
    On the 1st of April 1945 in the dead of night, the ‘ghost ship’ with its eerie illuminated white crosses shrouded in thick fog was mistaken for a military vessel and torpedoed by an American submarine ‘Queenfish’. It sank within minutes taking almost all of the 2007 passengers to their watery graves.
    This is the gripping story of the Awa Maru, the little known Titanic of Japan, for the first time told in this book. We follow the journey of Kyoko Tanaka, whose parents and brother had been passengers on the Awa Maru as she set sail on her own voyage of discovery. She travels from Japan to Singapore in search of the truth and a ‘piece of her history’ and makes poignant and touching discoveries of the lives of her parents and some of the other families as they prepared to board the Awa Maru.
    The lives of the doomed passengers of the Awa Maru and the events of that horrific night when they perished are all told in this book as never before.

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  • Japanese Rose

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    The kamikaze pilots or “Winds of God” were created in 1945, during Japan’s twilight year of the Second World War. The world looked upon this monstrous creation of “human bombs” with disbelief but the young patriotic men of Japan who signed up for the terrifying attack missions of the kamikaze program were unstoppable.
    Women looked on with envy and frustration at their own inadequacies which allowed only men into the program, but did anyone of them really take the daring step of breaking this rule?
    Japanese Rose” is a haunting story of the secret life and love of Sayuri Miyamoto, the woman who DID dare to take on the whole Japanese military to follow her dream of becoming a kamikaze pilot and paid dearly for that dream.
    “No one must ever know there was a female kamikaze pilot to dishonor and disgrace the discipline of the Japanese military so from today, you Sayuri Miyamoto are officially dead!”
    This book also takes readers on a sad journey through the ravages of war torn Japan seen from the eyes of a young woman who cherished the impossible and forbidden dream of becoming a female kamikaze pilot.
    “Who is this? And why do you call me by this name? It hasn’t been used for 60 years!” the crisp irritable voice had changed to a soft, quivering whisper like the moaning of an injured animal and it made Mayumi uncomfortable at her intrusion into someone’s obviously painful past.
    With these words, Sayuri Miyamoto finally broke the silence that had been imposed on her for decades. But History will never admit or accept her existence so was she real or a myth born of the feverish imagination of one woman with an unfulfilled dream?

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