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Gail Tsukiyama's View of the Samurai

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Sachi’s Stages of Grief

In The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, Stephen, the main character, contracts tuberculosis and recovers in a remote area, which is his enemy’s country, before World War 2 starts. Sachi goes through several stages of grief in the book. Through the use of plot, Tsukiyama demonstrates humankind’s ability to triumph over adversity using Sachi’s experience of when she goes to Yamaguchi as a teenager and when she loses Kenzo, her loved one who supported her all the time.

Sachi triumphed over adversity when she makes the journey to Yamaguchi as a teenager. When Sachi becomes frightened after seeing her initial caretaker’s face, her caretaker responds, “I would be frightened by this face if it were the first thing I saw in the morning. I often forget what effect it has on those who first come here. Especially a young girl as kirei as you, Sachi-san” (142). Her caretaker convinces her that there is nothing to be afraid of and that Sachi’s innocence interferes in the way. The details Tsukiyama applies, “frightened by this face” and “as kirei as you” indicate that what she says is helping Sachi feel better. The statement shows that some, with support, can climb the mountain of affliction, the major motif of this novel. When Sachi begins to feel better, she manages to keep her emotions to herself. She’s confident enough to tell Stephen that, “Only slowly did I begin to heal. Ever so often I was overwhelmed by a phantom pain that cut through me like a knife…..but it was all in my mind. Over the months I learned to keep these thoughts to myself” (143). She describes to him that she is able to heal slowly; it takes time to do so. The author employs “overwhelmed by phantom pain” and “to keep these thoughts to myself” to emphasize on Sachi’s agony and acceptance. It exhibits that misery takes time to cure, which helps to conquer the rollercoaster of misfortune, the theme of the story. Despite all of these events, Sachi prevails over the calamity of going to Yamaguchi as a teenager.

Sachi also triumphed over adversity when she loses Kenzo. When Stephen inquired Sachi about Kenzo, she is not afraid to answer, even if it irritates her. She explains to him, “He was someone very dear to me…but I always knew there was something lacking between us…Kenzo was a good man, but he never had the inner strength to deal with such a tragedy” (129). Sachi discloses to Kenzo about how she mattered to him, but he did not have abundant esteem to help her. The ideas the writer conveys, “something lacking between us” and “very dear to me” reveal that Sachi has feelings for Kenzo, but acknowledges the fact that he will never return for her. It displays that certain irritations in life has to be forgotten and moving forward is the only option, the main point of the novel. Matsu is telling Stephen about why Kenzo could not see Sachi anymore. “When we were young, Sachi had a great deal for Kenzo, but the disease changed everything. After she left for Yamaguchi, she could no longer see him” (49). Matsu justifies that Sachi and Kenzo loves each other, but the disease hampers in their way, and she is forbidden to have contact with him again. The thoughts the author illustrates, “Sachi had a great deal for Kenzo” and “she could no longer see him” unveil that Sachi adored Kenzo, but is upset she could not see him again. It emblazons that there are items that can not be helped, and dealing with the situation is the only choice, the subject of the story. Even though Sachi suffers heaps of trouble, she manages to fight through Kenzo’s loss.

The Samurai’s Garden is filled with many themes and each character has a legend to say. One example is Sachi, rolling over the speed bumps of hardship. It comprises of the particular problems that she faces with courage. It is almost as though the apparent, explicit plot that makes it easier to understand the reality of the message. The book refreshes the thought in our minds that there are people in the world who face more dilemma and people sometimes make an immense deal of the small disputes they have in life. Living a life is an issue because of the pressure society enforces, which happens to Sachi. As Sachi is going to Yamaguchi, Matsu convinces her that “It takes greater courage to live” (139).

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