The Printmaker's Daughter: 09/07/15
The Printmaker's Daughter by Katherine Govier is set in 19th century Edo. Oei narrates her story of being a young woman working with her father, a print maker.
Edo is the former name of Tokyo. It was the seat of power from 1603 to 1868 and grew to be a thriving metropolis. It was a vibrant, bustling, crowded place but most of that excitement is missing from this novel.
Instead, Oei's narrative is halting and full of stuff to prove to us western readers that yes, she is in fact, a Japanese lady from late 19th century Edo. So she waxes on and on over details that are of exotic interest to westerns: geisa, kimono, tabi, okobo, etc. I just can't imagine Oei actually being that fascinated by "exotic" Japan as she's portrayed.
In the 50 or so pages I suffered through, there is no chance for Oei to just live in Edo and have her life's up and downs. No, she's there as a tour guide for some weird western preconceived notion of what Edo was like. The extremely silly and anachronistic anime, Oh Edo Rocket! is a better, more realistic presentation of life in Edo even with the entire moon alien plot!