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Cloud Of Sparrows (Samurai #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,936 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Warrior clans nursing ancient grudges. Western missionaries brandishing pistols. Beautiful geishas who are deadly ninjas.

1861 - after two centuries of isolation Japan has been forced to open its doors. Now new influences are tearing apart the old order. Japan is as unprepared for outsiders as missionaries are for samurai assassins, executions and honour killings. Genji's l...more
Published February 5th 2004 by Arrow (first published 2002)
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Cloud of Sparrows was a very enjoyable read first because of the writing. The author presents a scene and then lets the reader hear the thoughts of everyone in the scene. So, you get a surface view and the underlying thoughts and motives of all of the participants, which are not always apparent from their outward appearance and actions.

The cultural differences are really interesting and funny. For example, the Japanese cannot tolerate sitting in chairs, because it compresses their organs and bl...more
A streamlined version of Shogun, sacrificing some of the depth of characterization and subtlety of political power games in favor of extra servings of ninja duels, geisha seductions and personal vendettas. The conflict between the Eastern and Western cultures is moved from 1600 to 1861, and the strongarming of the Tokugawa Shogunate by American and European warships into opening the country for trade (or legalized robbery as it turned out). Japan is on the brink of major shift in policy, not yet...more
Dibaca ulang, dalam rangka nggak ada bacaan hehe dan ceritanya juga udah agak lupa.

Buku ini menceritakan kisah hidup Daimyo (bangsawan agung) Akaoka yang bernama Okumichi Genji. Genji digambarkan sebagai laki2 muda yang tampan namun sering diremehkan karena penampilannya tidak seperti samurai sejati. Dikatai terlalu lunak, pesolek, dll. Belum lagi pemikirannya yang sering 'berbeda'. Yang paling membuat gerah adalah sikapnya terhadap orang2 asing yang datang ke Jepang. Genji menerima para misiona...more
Обичам книги, които ме водят в древна Япония. Действително книгата ме върна във времето, когато в ръцете ми попадна "Шогун" на любимия ми Клавел.
Тази книга е написана от японец, но пак е заложен конфликтът при сблъсъка на два свята. Толкова са ми интересни японците като мислене, като светоусещане, като психика, отношението им към смъртта, йерархията, строгите правила в нея, невъзможността да сложиш знак на равенство между "проститутка" и "гейша" /ние нямаме подходящата дума за това/. В тези стр...more
Чанко Попчев
Книга за феодална Япония и началото на контактите и с Европа и Америка, но написана от японец с перфектен стил и познание на епохата. Увлекателното действие е по-добро от много класически романи. Тънка психология и неочаквани откровения допълват мащабната картина на цяла Япония.
Романтиката започва още с името на книгата - "Облак врабчета" е името на замък на крайбрежието, ставащ сцена на сблъсъка на два свята.
Такаши Мацуока има безспорен талант.

Cloud of Sparrows was a satisfying read, but it was not the best book that I've ever read. The plot and writing style were gripping and easy to read, and I learned a lot about feudal Japanese culture. I was, however, disappointed by the remaining loose ends at the conclusion of the book. The multiple plots did not all finish at the same time, and the last one seemed like a hasty ending.

It was fascinating to read the differences of culture between the American missionaries and the feudal Japanese

Serazhutdin Khappalaev
"Воробьиная Туча", изданная у нас как "Стрелы на Ветру", формально считается первой книгой дилогии, и повествует об истории Гэндзи Окумити - последнего князя клана, его ближайших родственников, вассалов, а также нескольких американцев, чьи судьбы окажутся неразрывно переплетены с судьбой всего клана. После скачущего по эпохам "Осеннего Моста" практически линейное за некоторыми исключениями повествование "Воробьиной Тучи" кажется читерством :) Гэндзи Окумити, бывший одним из многих главных героев...more
Jesse Tooper
Reading Cloud of Sparrows the 1st time, you can't help but be reminded of Clavell's Shogun (subsequently, one of my favorite books), which in my opinion, is a very good thing. Taking place in 1861, right when the west began to "invade" the east, the story centers around 5 main characters.....Lord Genji, who has "seen" that his life will be saved by an outsider. He has been the one "chosen once in a generation" to have the gift of prophesy. Emily Gibson- a chick that has come to spread Christiani...more
Siamo nell'anno 1861, quando Genji Okumichi, daimyo di Akaoka, riceve nel suo territorio lo sbarco di alcuni missionari cristiani, tra cui si trova Emily, che gli appare immediatamente brutta: i suoi colori sono sbagliati, le sue forme sono sbagliate, le sue vesti sono sbagliate. In poche parole, è una bianca occidentale. Nulla a che vedere con le raffinate dame di compagnia di cui Genji si circonda, prima tra tutte la bellissima Heiko, che in realtà non è solo una cortigiana, ma un'abile assass...more
Mrs. Fujiwara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Those who succeed and those fail are both destined to die.’

This novel, a work of historical fiction with elements of fantasy, opens in Edo in 1861 as two centuries of Japanese isolation is forcibly ended by outsiders from the West. As foreign ships threaten to destroy the Shogun’s castle in Edo, a small group of American missionaries arrives. The missionaries are the Reverend Zephaniah Cromwell, his fiancée Emily Gibson, and Matthew Stark. Unsurprisingly, each has secrets and each has a reason...more
Premetto di conoscere poco o niente del Giappone medievale ed odierno, e quindi di non saper giudicare quanto il contesto storico e l’ambientazione siano effettivamente corretti. Detto ciò mi ha colpito soprattutto lo stile di narrazione leggero che crea una lettura che cattura nonostante, a ben pensarci, non ci siano scene mozzafiato o colpi di scena eccezionali. Penso sia questo ciò che caratterizza di più il romanzo: tocca vari punti in maniera indiretta, semplicemente mostrandoli egregiament...more
A lot of descriptions have it as a more accessible "Shogun," but I've yet to read that one so I can only bring it up on faith.

This book (as you can infer off the description) covers a period in time where Japan opens it's "borders" to the Western powers. The problem I usually encounter with Asian Fantasy is that they trend a fine line with cultural norms. Either it comes up so often that you're almost reading a travel guide or not nearly enough and the Asian setting feels hallow. "Cloud of Sparr...more
Alluna Lynn
Kastel Awan Gereja adalah buku pertama dari buku Dwilogi karya Takashi Matsuoka. Buku ini mengisahkan tentang Bangsawan Agung dari klan Okumichi, Kami Genji di daerah Akaoka di pulau Shikoku yang berkuasa sekitar tahun 1860-1895 Masehi. Genji hidup di zaman akan keruntuhan Shogun Tokugawa dan restorasi dari kekaisaran Meiji. Hidupnya sebagai seorang bangsawan agung yang dikelilingi samurai menemui banyak intrik dan pergulatan.

Klan Okumichi dikenal degan kemampuan 'meramal' mereka yang diturunka...more
Marc Jentzsch
Historically-based with a very light sprinkling of the fantastic (primarily via prophetic visions), Cloud of Sparrows is one of my favorite books. Set during the years immediately preceding the Meiji Restoration, it takes a historical setting and makes it work for a tale at once sweepingly epic and intensely personal.

Matsuoka writes characters that are at once compellingly sympathetic yet still at times, utter monsters by modern sensibilities. They are consistent and honest and engaging. The boo...more
Sean Wylie
Fantastic historically fiction about the tumultuous period in Japanese history following the forcing open of their ports by US Admiral Perry in the 1880s. For over 200 years Japan had cut itself off from the rest of the world. This is the period when the Samurai culture was at its peak. Until the fateful day when the US Navy decided Japan must open itself to trade from the rest of the world. Within a few years Japan was forced into a transition from a clan culture, loosely united under a Shogan,...more
Okay, Goodreads does not have the English cover.
I started reading this and realized I probably read it already.
I checked my book list and found I had read in 2003.
I like books set in this time period of Japanese history; 1800's.
There are a few X words to pass over in the beginning only.
one of my all-time fave
‘Those who succeed and those fail are both destined to die.’

Is the ability to know the future a bless or a curse? Can that ability make a true samurai, one who doesn’t complain when being tortured, one who is willing to die for the sake of honor and loyalty, but is considered common to cry when feeling moved or happy?

(Blurb from the Indonesian translated book)

I was in the middle of reading a book for my Once Upon a Time challenge when my friend, out of nowhere, lent me Samurai – Kastel Awan Bu...more
Negentiende eeuw, Amerika heeft het voorzien op Japan dat nog vasthoudt aan zijn eeuwenoude samoeraicultuur. We volgen drie Amerikaanse zendelingen die het ware geloof komen verkondigen, langs de ene kant, en langs de andere kant hun jonge Japanse gastheer die de toekomst kan zien, en diens geisha wiens schoonheid wijd en zijd verspreid is.

Het kan aan de vertaling liggen, maar dit boek is pulp. De zinnen klonken te gekunsteld en tegelijk te simpel, soms te stijf; ze slaagden er niet in de beelde...more
Ketika lelaki itu berpaling menatapnya, Heiko berharap dia akan melihat :
Rambutnya : sekelam malam tanpa bintang tergerai di alas sutra biru.
Wajahnya : sepucat salju pada musim semi, bersinar dengan cahaya yang dicuri dari bulan (hal.24)

Itulah serangkaian kalimat pembuka novel epik berjudul asli Cloud of Sparrows : An Epic Novel of Japan karya Takashi Matsuoka atau diterjemahkan oleh penerbit Qanita Mizan menjadi Samurai Kastel Awan Burung Gereja. Kalimat tadi telah memikat saya untuk terus memb...more
Set during a rather fascinating period of Japanese history, this one managed to really capture me. Matsuoka-san seems to have been drawn to stories from both his homeland and new country (technically making him issei although I'm not sure if the term could used for a 'recent' migrant), blending high culture and important deeds with snippets of daily life and the little people in Edo and the countryside of both Japan and the US.

It reminded me somewhat of Lian Hearn's Across the Nightingale Floor,...more
The demons of the past,
the treachery of the present,
an uncertain future are about to collide in the most terrifying ways.

As past and present collide,
a hidden history comes to life,
and with it a secret prophecy that has been shrouded for centuries and may now finally be revealed.

Dahulu, di pertengahan semester VI, saya mendapatkan novel Samurai Kastel Awan Burung Gereja. Novel ini saya pilih karena novel Musashi, yang beberapa tahun lalu sudah saya baca, menyedot perhatian saya pada novel-nov...more
An exquisite book! I immensely enjoyed every page of it.
I loved the story, the complexity of the characters, the style, the imagery, and every little detail of the narrative. I was thrilled at last to encounter a read which, in my view, truthfully portrays the inner workings of Japanese feudal society, the rigid codes that used to rule the behaviour of each member of that nation.
Even a daimyo - a Great Lord, who is answerable only to the Shogun and the Emperor - cannot really do what he please...more
Robert Beveridge
Takashi Matsuoka, Cloud of Sparrows (Delacorte, 2002)

Takashi Matsuoka's debut novel, Cloud of Sparrows, is quite a treat. The similarities between the code of the Samurai and the code of the Wild West gunfighter have been done before, of course, but never within such an elaborate framework. The novel begins on New Year's Day 1861, with the arrival of three American missionaries to Akaoka. Akaoka's present Great Lord, Genji, has a reputation as an effeminate dilettante, keeps company with Japan's...more
A very readable story of Japan in the late 1800s, describing the culture clash of Japanese vs. American "outsiders" & missionaries, and hinting at the major changes to come shortly in a culture that was fixed in a time warp & had not changed its cruel warlike medieval traditions. Reminiscent of a blend of "Shogun"(James Clavell), and "Geisha"(Arthur Golden), with a strong streak of mysticism in the form of prophecy, it drips with blood on every page, as the novel moves back & forth i...more
Pengetahuan bisa menghambat. Ketidaktahuan justru membebaskan. Tahu kapan untuk tahu dan kapan untuk tak tahu, sama pentingnya dengan pedang yang tajam. Suzume-no-Kumo (1434) Apakah kemampuan mengetahui masa depan bisa menguntungkan, atau justru membawa malapetaka? Mampukah pengetahuan seperti itu melahirkan seorang samurai sejati, yang tabu mengeluh ketika mengalami siksaan fisik paling hebat sekalipun, yang rela mati menjunjung tinggi kehormatan dan kesetiaan, namun tetap dianggap wajar untuk...more
Yulin Masdakaty
Biasanya, saya tidak terlalu suka dengan novel-novel kesusasteraan Jepang, karena, yeah... you know, selain tebalnya minta ampun (sampe-sampe nyaris ngalahin kitab suci), bahasanya juga ribet.
Tapi buku ini pengecualian. :)

Matsuoka-sensei pinter sekali merangkai kata-kata dan bahasanya sehingga saya seolah-olah ikut terbawa masuk dalam "dunia" yang dia ceritakan. (Terjemahannya juga bagus!)
Walaupun ceritanya sebenernya lumayan berat karena mengisahkan tentang peradaban dan kebudayaan Jepang di er...more
This book was great - right up to the last 40 or so pages. It's a richly developed cast of characters (so much so that it requires a cast list in the beginning of the book to keep them all straight for reference). The protagonist, Lord Genji, is the Lord of a Japanese Clan at the time of Japan's border openings to the West. As the lord of his fief, he is the most recent lord to be born with the family's curse - the ability to see the future. Prophecy plays a huge part in the tale, and it leads i...more
I nearly put down this book before finishing the second chapter. A ninja-geisha spy who falls in love with her quarry, a zealous and lecherous priest, a pure and ignorant young girl, and a gifted, attractive and progressive samurai lord: all these together almost made one-too-many stereotypes.

Rewards await those ready to struggle through a seemingly predictable opening, however. None of these things are quite what they seem (except the priest, but there's a surprise there, too), and the subtle c...more
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Takashi Matsuoka is a first-generation Japanese American writer living in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. Before commiting full time to the writing profession, he used to work at a Zen Buddhist temple. His books, historical novels depicting American missionaries' visits to Japan, are often compared to Shōgun and the rest James Clavell's series. In addition to writing novels, Matsuoka also worked...more
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