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The Tokaido Project

See the Tokaido Project photo gallery for a few of my favorite photos of my travels in Japan.

Ando Hiroshige’s woodblock print series, The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, has inspired me to research the lives of commoners in 1830s Japan. My goal is to create a collection of short stories, each inspired by one of the prints. Through fictional characters, often based on real people, I will share with readers the joys and challenges of everyday life for farmers, samurai, merchants, townspeople – men and women – as they cope with the politics of Edo Period Japan.

Thanks to our many former home stay students and their families I’ve met Japanese craftspeople, storytellers, owners of old inns and a fifteenth generation village headman who’ve shared the family stories and traditions that have inspired many of my stories. Biographies, autobiographies, scholarly books, museum displays and travels to many castles, small villages and restored shops have all contributed ideas and authentic details.

Over and over, I saw connections between Edo Period life and beloved traditions that are part of today’s family and community life. Each story includes a photograph showing a tradition from the story that’s alive and well today.

While I work on getting a book agent and publisher, here is an introduction to each of the prints and information about that station. As the project progresses, I’ll post more information.

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© 2013 Helen Rindsberg
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