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Samurai and Silk

Samurai and Silk

A Japanese and American Heritage

Haru Matsukata Reischauer

ISBN 9780674788015

Publication date: 01/01/1988

Samurai and Silk is a rare treasure: a book of penetrating insight into the Japanese character and the forging of modern Japan from the feudal Tokugawa shoguns to present day economic titans. Only Haru Reischauer could have written this extraordinary family account, beginning with her two illustrious grandfathers: one, a provincial samurai who became a founding father of the Meiji government; the other, a scion of a wealthy and enterprising peasant family who almost single-handedly developed the silk trade with America. Their remarkable stories, and those of their notable descendants, demonstrate the unbounded vision and determination that explain so much about Japan's legendary success.


  • Samurai and Silk is beautifully written, with a sense of intimacy that only firsthand experience and family traditions could confer. It is also a work of broad historical value, since both grandfathers played a major role in reshaping Japan and laying the foundations of its modern economic power.

    —John Gross, New York Times

Book Details

  • 424 pages
  • 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press