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Rashomon Gate (Sugawara Akitada, #2)
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Rashomon Gate (Sugawara Akitada #2)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  527 ratings  ·  56 reviews
In Heian Kyo, the capital city of 11th century Japan, Akitada Sugawara serves as a minor official in the Ministry of Justice. Though born into a noble family, his family's estate is sadly diminished, forcing Akitada to toil fruitlessly at an unsuccessful career. So when an old friend, Professor Hirata, calls upon Akitada for help, he welcomes the opportunity to escape from
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 31st 2002 by St. Martin's Minotaur (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 922)
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Susan Johnson
3.5 stars

Although this is set in the 11th century in Japan, it is really a cozy mystery read. It is just a fun read. Akitada is a son of a noble family fallen on hard times. He is working for the Ministry of Justice when his former teacher and foster father asks him to return to his old school to solve a blackmailing scam.

In his investigation he is drawn into solving not one, not two but three murders. He also fins love. What more can you ask for in a book?
[7/10] a good enough detective story, but with little in it to make it memorable and raise it above a bunch of similar attempts to emulate Agatha Christie.

I picked this up initially because the setting promised to be original : 11th century Japan, an exotic location that I really wanted to find out more about. The author did her homework well, and put a lot of historical details in the book, but for some reason the Kyoto painted here felt to me more like a cardboard theatrical scenery, a neutral
sebenernya rada galau 3 atau 4 bintang, tp akhirnya lebih condong pd kesukaanku pada rumitnya kisah misteri yg hrs dipecahkan oleh sang tokoh Akitada, drpd ketidaksukaanku pd penuturan dan penggunaan istilah2 bahasa yg terlalu tinggi/modern settingnya, jd ttp kuberi 4*. apalagi karakterisasi akitada lebih kompleks dan lengkap, terasa lbh manusiawi dan jg di bandingkan dragon scroll (akitada #1), yg ini lbh ada sentuhan romansanya.

review lengkap ada di
When his former professor and guardian asks for his help, Sugawara Akitada feels obligated to assist him in his investigation. To do this, Akitada must return to his former university and it reminds him of things he would rather forget. Not long after he begins teaching at the university, Akitada stumbles upon not one but three murders he hopes to solve. He is not alone. His servant, Tora is there to help with his investigation. Not only does Akitada have the task of solving three murders and pr ...more
Loved this book. 4 & 1/2 stars. I felt immersed in life in the capital city of 11th c. Japan, and I really liked the main character, Sugawara Akitada. The characters seemed like living, breathing flesh-and-blood people whom I could relate to, and yet they never seemed to me like 21st c. characters plopped into 11th c. Japan. The environment, culture, and daily life all "felt right" -- although I haven't much knowledge of Japan's history, except in broad strokes. I.J. Parker's books have made ...more
Sentot Gurun Setiawan
Saya suka buku ini!

Sebernarnya berharap nemuin buku yang menceritakan samurai, martial art, bushido ataupun tentang kisah - kisah heroik. Tapi ternyata ini lebih tepat sebagai kisah 'detektif' dengan latar belakang sejarah Jepang. Tepatnya ketika Heian Era, ini adalah masa feudal Jepang yang lebih lampau dari masa - masa 'samurai' atapun para shogun ada. Saya suka background dan detil - detil tentang masa itu, tentang kehidupan masyarakatnya, para petani, pengrajin, pengemis, pedagang dan bangsa
Jan 24, 2009 Femmy marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Read the first chapter as a translation test for a local publisher. The protagonist will investigate a mysterious blackmail letter, at least that is the conflict presented in the first chapter. The setting is medieval Japan, but so far the atmosphere seems too modern for me.
Brett Bydairk
Although this one was published first, it reads like a second, or even third, book in a series. Looking at the entry on SYKM (, the author states that this was indeed intended to be the second book, but the publisher decided to publish the second one, The Dragon Scroll, first.
That said, this is a good introduction to Akitada Sugawara, a minor official in the Imperial Court of 11th Cent. Japan.
He is asked by a former teacher to investigate a possible case
Pasti mereka membawanya ke Rashoman"
Tora menggigil

Rashoman adalah pintu gerbang besar di selatan ibu kota. Semua orang tahu bahwa kalangan miskin yang tidak sanggup mengupayakan pemakaman, meninggalkan mayat di sana. Pihak yang berwenang akan mengumpulkannya untuk kemudian membakarnya bersama mayat-mayat yang lain.Oleh karenanya selain penjahat, tidak ada seorangpun yang datang setelah malam

Seri ini mengisahkan tentang Sugawara Akitada yang berasal dari keluarga bangsawan namun hanya me
Jul 14, 2010 Bee-Man rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Japan Classic, Samurai, Japanesse Thugs, Mystery, Detective Lovers
Buku ini adalah lanjutan dari serial Sugawara Akitada - The Dragon Scroll, padahal original-nya buku ini disebut buku pertama-nya serial Sugawara Akitada lho. Terlepas dari hal tersebut, menurut aq sih setting waktu, cerita, dan lokasinya nyambung dengan kondisi pasca The Dragon Scroll.

Buat aq, seri kedua buku ini (Kantera's edition) ceritanya lebih menarik dari The Dragon Scroll karena unsur romance-nya lebih jelas, berbeda dengan Dragon Scroll dimana Akitada belum memastikan cintanya. Dan jug
While apparently the first Akitada book published, I felt there were things that were hinted at that weren't fully made clear. The Dragon Scroll, #3, appears to be a prequel and I wish I had read that first. I hate being left in the dark about things and having them only partly explained (like how he met & employed his helpful servant, Tora). The reader of the audio book was quite good. He implied the women's voices without going overboard and the accents really brought you a feel of ancien ...more
A reasonably engaging read. The plot and characters weren't superb, and the ending a little too fairy-tale for my tastes (although I would imagine that that will bring new sets of problems in sequels), but I found I coped well with the sometime jarring between prose style and subject and setting. There were other moments when I though that the author crafted some nicely oblique conservations between characters that showed a decent understanding of what I know of Japanese cultural mores.

My main u
Nancy Oakes
read in 2004 (just catching up on book cataloguing)

The story (actually stories) within the book is good; it's just so tedious! I absolutely love stories set in the context of Ancient Japan or Ancient China and while I like the mysteries here, the author tries to do way too much at the same time. I mean, I don't blame her -- when you put a novel in a setting like Ancient Japan, you have to give the reader that sense of place most readers require. So she spends a lot of time trying to evoke that s
Sugawara Akitada receives a request from his old friend and temporarily leaves his position at the Ministry of Justice to take a temporary position teaching at the university. His old friend has stumbled upon evidence that someone is blackmailing a member of the faculty. As that mystery unfolds he becomes involved in the murder of a young musician, who might be involved with someone at the university, and the problem of what might, or might not, be the miraculous disappearance of a nobleman.

Rashomon Gate contains several mysteries which the main character, Ministry of Justice official Sugawara Akitada, investigates concurrently (and which cross over at points). Unfortunately, of the three mysteries, the one that I found least interesting was the one given the most time. The mystery of a blackmail note received by a University Professor tries to twist and turn but it ended up turning out pretty much as I had expected.

Even though the investigations were sometimes dull, I always enjoy
For those of you who also follow my father on Goodreads, you may have noticed a slight change in his reading in recent months. Well, now you need to be prepared for a change in mine as we have undertaken the great Hamlett book swap! This only amounts to each of us giving the other five books to read but is the result of a long-standing difference of opinion as to what constitutes a good read. So, I introduced him to Paul Auster, Cormac Macarthy's 'The Road', a novel about superstring theory and ...more
I love historic fiction because, when it is well done, it is a bit like time-traveling. Although “Rashomon Gate” by I.J. Parker does not provide the depth of detail that completely immerses the reader in the period and culture of 11th Century Japan, she certainly provides a strong “flavor” of the time and place that feels very authentic. The writing seemed to be by someone of that time who was sharing the story with a contemporary and didn’t see the need to elaborate on locations and customs.

Mark Bruce
Jul 02, 2007 Mark Bruce rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: myster lovers
The author turns the trick of writing an engaging mystery in a foreign land--medieval Japan (about 1200 AD, as far as I can tell) and gets into the mindset of the people who would have lived the story.

(I read, some time back, another series set in Japan which seems to be more popular, starring the wife of a Japanese official. I read only one, as the charactors seemed to be 21st century Americans set in 13th Century Japan. It was very unconvincing. This author, on the other hand, is careful to tr
Melanie Simmons
An ancient and fascinating time comes alive in this interesting mystery

recommended if you like different settings.well researched with interesting characters true to their time and the mysteries are complex.looking forward to the next book!
This is the second book featuring Sugawara Akitada, 11th century detective in Medieval Japan. Much like Van Gulik Judge Ti, Sugawara's case are inspired from stories of that time.

In this we find young Akitada, back in his ministry job and being bored. An old teacher of his asks for help in a blackmail scheme at his old university. Akitada finds himself at the center of three murders that will take the reader for an amazing ride.

I liked this mystery novel. I haven't read the first novel in this
We are reading this book in our book club this month. It was my pick. This is a mystery book that takes place in eleventh century Japan. This book is about Akitada Sugawara, a low level government official in Heian (present day Kyoto). In the course of the novel as Akitada tries to help his former professor out and sort out some of his own personal problmes, he ends up solving three mysteries. Despite the treachery and murders to solve there is also light hearted humor sprinkled throughout. Havi ...more

From the author of The Dragon Scroll comes an ingenious new novel of murder and malfeasance in ancient Japan, featuring the detective Sugawara Akitada. The son of reduced nobility forced to toil in the Ministry of Justice, Akitada is relieved when an old friend, Professor Hirata, asks him to investigate a friend’s blackmail. Taking a post at the Imperial University, he is soon sidetracked from his primary case by the murder of a young girl and the mysterious disappearance of an old man—a disappe
It took me a while to get into this book, but it grew on me gradually and positively.

The only comparable author that comes to my mind is Laura Joh Rowland, and in Parker's novel, the Japanese characters ACT JAPANESE. No rebels, no one hanging out with burakumin, everyone firmly in their station and perfectly respectable. The story is also a lot less sensational, although that fault didn't appear until a few books into Rowland's series.

I found out today that the series isn't published in chronolo
Chris Bull
Lacking the place and time.
Cultural et al. context is could be much stronger.
Should have been better
Most historic novels set in Japan take place during the Shogunate. This mystery series is unique in that it takes place centuries earlier in the Heaian era in the eleventh century.

All sorts of mysteries mesh together when Akitada is asked by his old university professor, Hirata, to investigate a case of blackmail. A young girl is murdered and a prince miraculously vanishes while praying at a temple, the story being that he was transported to Buddhahood.

I really enjoyed the characters and the ra
L.  (I've Stopped Counting)
Number two in the series but can easily be read without having to read the first book.
A somewhat drawn out but balanced mystery set in medieval Japan. Parker is able to stitch together several different murder mysteries in a seamless way, but the book loses steam as the plots unfold. There might be a few too many corpses to sort out here. That aside, the many characters are distinct and the tone of the book is perfectly executed. I'm not sure if I'll return for more in this series, but at least it's inspired me to try to finish the Tale of the Heike.
When listening to a series out of order, one catches up after moving ahead. I feel this way with the Sugawara Akitada series. Actually, I think I've heard all I want to hear and will probably not pick up any more of these light mysteries based in Ancient Japan featuring Akitada, Tora, Semai and now Akitada's wife (sorry I've forgotten her name and it isn't on the back cover) Tomiko (maybe?).
Another riveting read from Parker. Akitada takes a leave of absence to teach school as a cover assignment but ends up getting involved in violence and heartache on a very personal level. He meets his wife here as well as some very endearing new characters. As usual not everything goes according to plan and he is once again lucky to have new found friends watching his back.
The last 40 or so pages ruined the whole book. Like adding legs to a beautifully drawn snake. I think the writer should not have stuck a Hollywood-style ending, especially to a jidai-shosetsu. Sacrilegious.
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Other Books in the Series

Sugawara Akitada (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Dragon Scroll (Sugawara Akitada, #1)
  • Black Arrow (Sugawara Akitada, #3)
  • Island of Exiles (Sugawara Akitada, #4)
  • The Hell Screen (Sugawara Akitada, #5)
  • The Convict's Sword (Sugawara Akitada, #6)
  • The Masuda Affair (Sugawara Akitada, #7)
  • The Fires of the Gods (Sugawara Akitada #8)
  • Death on an Autumn River (Sugawara Akitada #9)
  • The Emperor's Woman (Sugawara Akitada #10)
  • Death of a Doll Maker (Sugawara Akitada #11)

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