Stranger in the Shogun’s City A Japanese Woman and Her World

Amy Stanley


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Just a few years after the turn of the nineteenth century, a baby named Tsuneno was born to a Buddhist priest and his wife in a rural village in Japan. Expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s, she instead grew up to be a strong-willed woman, who, after three divorces, ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo-now Tokyo-a bustling metropolis as its peak. Immersive and fascinating. Stranger in the Shogun’s City is a revelatory work of history, providing a window into nineteenth-century Japanese culture-and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions. Book jacket.

Stranger in the Shogun’s City A Japanese Woman and Her World


In stock

ISBN – 9781501188534
Publisher – Scribner
Format – Paperback
Publication Date – 06/07/2021
Dimensions – 213mm X 140mm
Categories – The Modern Age

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Amy Stanley
Stranger in the Shogun's City A Woman's Life in Nineteenth-Century Japan

A groundbreaking new history of Edo, now modern-day Tokyo, that will change our understanding of Japanese history, placing women’s lives back in the historical picture

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2020, a vivid work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman in Edonow known as Tokyoand a portrait of a great city on the brink of momentous change

‘Compelling… Deeply absorbing’ Guardian

The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in 1804 in a village in Japan’s snow country and was expected to lead a life much like her mother’s. Instead – after three divorces and with a temperament much too strong-willed for her family’s approval – she ran away to follow her own path in Edo, the city we now call Tokyo.

Stranger in the Shogun’s City is a rare, captivating portrait of one woman as she endeavours to recreate herself and her life, and provides a window into the drama and excitement of Japan at a pivotal moment in history.

‘Marvellous… Stanley builds up a picture of Tsuneno’s world, immersing us in an experience akin to time travel’ TLS

* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2020 *
* Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2021 *
* Winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography *