Kris's Reviews > Fudoki

Fudoki by Kij Johnson
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, japan
Read from December 02 to 17, 2011

Ancient Japan fascinates me and I can't think of a more interesting time that Heian-kyo, 11th century in Japan's old capital now known as Kyoto.

While this story takes place in late Heian - 1129, I believe the author mentioned - it has all the charm and cultural nuances one would expect. Sei Shonagan finds her name in these pages, as does Murasaki Shikibu. We read about ancient Japanese marriage customs and war and seiges. We learn about the life of the gods that govern and of times of hardship.

We follow the life of a cat who suddenly finds herself in woman-form on a quest though she does not yet know it because she is just 'nothing and no one'. This is also a tale of an old Heian princess as she slowly fades away from this world to the next, some unnamed tumor growing inside her killing her a bit day after day.

It is a sweet story of life, loss, and home and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved reading about Kagaya-hime (even if her name is so similar to Kaguya-hime that I kept thinking of the moon!) and of Harueme, the 70+ year old princess scribbling away her last days in her journal before she finally moves on. A recommended read!
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