The beguiling story of the Minaguchi-ya, an ancient inn on the Tokaido Road, founded on the eve of the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. Travellers and guests flow into and past the inn — warriors on the march, lovers fleeing to a new life, pilgrims on their merry expeditions, great men going to and from the capital. The story of the Minaguchi-ya is a social history of Japan through 400 years, a ringside seat to some of the most stirring events of a stirring period.
‘Statler has created a strangely beautiful book that succeeds in conveying intact not only a great deal of its history but the mood of that land. The result is sheer delight. Japanese Inn is the work of a master craftsman; it is so well conceived that the narrative moves from past to present in the same paragraph without the slightest confusion to the reader; it is so well written that only in retrospect is one aware of its remarkable flawless style. Through the author’s particular magic, the stories unfold as one narrative, as beautifully and memorably as the unrolling of a long Japanese scroll.’—CURT GENTRY
‘The reader learns much of Japan’s past — and, as is inevitable in a study of that country, of present-day Japanese as well. Mr Statler’s prose succeeds in evoking the pageantry of the past in the brilliant color of the kabuki stage. Nothing seems to have been overlooked by the author. Mr Statler’s book is Japanese history made easy, and grand entertainment.’— NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
‘Much of it is told in fictional form. Some of the episodes have come out of family annals and memories, some from the records of the temple; some are imagined; but all could have happened ... Mr Statler has told the story vividly and with sympathy. It moves. It has the authentic feel of Japan.’—INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE