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Madam Sugimoto was born in Japan, not in the sunny southern part of the country which has given it the name of “The Land of Flowers,” but in the northern province of Echigo which is bleak and cold and so cut off from the rest of the country by mountains that in times past it had been considered fit only for political prisoners or exiles.
Her father was a Samurai, with high ideals of what was expected of a Samurai’s family. His hopes were concentrated in his son until the son refused to marry the girl for whom he was destined and ran off to America. After that all that was meant for him fell to the lot of the little wavy-haired Etsu who writes here so delightfully of the things that happened in their childhood days in far-away Japan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Etsuko Inagaki Sugimoto (1872-1950) was born in Nagaoka, Echigo Province, the daughter of a high-ranking advisor to a powerful territorial lord, a few years after the Meiji Restoration ended Japan’s feudal system. Her father died when she was twelve; soon afterward, following the advice of her elder brother, she became engaged to his friend Matsunosuke Sugimoto, a merchant living in the United States whom she had never met. Etsu arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1898. The Sugimotos lived in College Hill, where they became acquainted with Cincinnati’s high society. Later she lived in New York City, where she turned to literature and taught Japanese language, culture and history at Columbia University.