A Daughter of the Samurai – Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto

A Daughter of the Samurai: A Memoir

A young Japanese woman leaves the only home she’s ever known for married life in nineteenth-century Ohio in this delightful, charming memoir, a tribute to the struggles of the first generation of Japanese immigrants—with an introduction by Karen Tei Yamashita and Yuki Obayashi

The youngest daughter of a high-ranking samurai in late-nineteenth-century Japan, Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto is originally destined to be a Buddhist priestess. She grows up a curly haired tomboy in snowy Echigo, certain of her future role in her community. But as a young teenager, she is instead engaged to a Japanese merchant in Ohio—and Etsu realizes she will eventually have to leave the only world she has ever known for the United States.

Etsu arrives in Cincinnati as a bright-eyed and observant twenty-four-year-old, puzzled by the differences between the two cultures and alive to the contradictions, ironies, and beauties of both. Her memoir, reprinted for the first time in decades, is an unforgettable story of a strong and determined woman.

The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.