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“KA-E-RO-U is a testimony to the human spirit that bridges differences and overcomes divisions, so different from the spirit that prevailed in the 1930s and 1940s and sent our grandparents and parents to war.”—Elaine Gerbert, University of Kansas, translator of Edogawa Ranpo’s Strange Tale of Panorama Island
"An engaging read! The humor and playful language in KA-E-RO-U belie the book's deep engagement with life. The diverse group of characters taking risks, reaching out to the new and different, and reaping a harvest—or a glimmer—of new understanding is inspirational."—Laurel Rasplica Rodd, Professor Emerita of Japanese, University of Colorado at Boulder, Recipient of Japanese Imperial Decoration
A whisk-you-away, thought-provoking novel. Desert-dweller Meryl travels to Japan, returns a WWII flag, and brings home an understanding of life that opens her heart for the unexpected.
“In Japan...everywhere...red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.”
Meryl—Vietnam War widow—misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure—take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows British and US expats, a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love “in the simplest things.”
B. Jeanne Shibahara’s skillful narrative voice and comic touch bring joy to this truly heart-moving, transpacific story. There’s something in it for everyone, everywhere.
Original paintings for KA-E-RO-U by award-winning Osaka artist, Shinko Yamaguchi.