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The Matsuyama Mirror   By:

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The Matsuyama Mirror by T. H. James is an enchanting novel that flawlessly weaves together elements of Japanese mythology, historical fiction, and family drama. Set in modern-day Japan, this captivating tale follows the life of a young woman named Laura, who finds herself drawn to an antique mirror she discovers in her family's ancestral home.

James skillfully captures the essence of Japanese culture, vividly describing traditional rituals, beautiful landscapes, and the intricacies of relationships within a close-knit community. Through his evocative prose, readers are transported to a world where ancient legends intertwine with everyday realities, creating an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue.

One of the novel's greatest strengths lies in its characters. Laura, the protagonist, is a relatable and well-rounded individual whose personal journey of self-discovery is both gripping and poignant. Her determination to uncover the secrets of the Matsuyama Mirror takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster, filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Furthermore, the supporting cast adds depth and complexity to the story. From Laura's wise and enigmatic great-uncle Sadao to her childhood friend Yukio, each character contributes to the overarching narrative, ensuring that no interaction feels superficial or forced. Their unique perspectives provide insight into different facets of Japanese society and its rich history.

The pacing of the novel is impeccable, managing to maintain a steady momentum while expertly balancing moments of tranquility with heart-pounding suspense. James skillfully alternates between past and present, gradually unveiling the mirror's secrets and building tension as the story reaches its climax. This structure keeps readers engaged throughout, eager to uncover the truth behind the mirror's mystical powers.

As the story progresses, themes of love, loss, and personal identity resonate deeply. James explores the weight of family heritage and the interconnectedness of past and present, raising thought-provoking questions about the inherent complexities of one's ancestry. Through Laura's journey, readers are encouraged to reflect on their own sense of belonging and the power of embracing their heritage.

The Matsuyama Mirror is a beautifully crafted tale that seamlessly combines elements of fantasy and reality. T. H. James effortlessly transports readers to the enchanting world of Japan while exploring universal themes of self-discovery and the enduring power of family. This novel will resonate with readers long after the final page is turned, making it a must-read for anyone seeking an immersive and captivating literary experience.

First Page:

Japanese Fairy Tale Series, No 10.

The Matsuyama Mirror.



Published by T. HASEGAWA, 17 Kami Negishi, TOKYO.






A long long time ago, there lived in a quiet spot, a young man and his wife. They had one child, a little daughter, whom they both loved with all their hearts. I cannot tell you their names, for they have been long since forgotten, but the name of the place where they lived was Matsuyama, in the province of Echigo.

It happened once, while the little girl was still a baby, that the father was obliged to go to the great city, the capital of Japan, upon some business. It was too far for the mother and her little baby to go, so he set out alone, after bidding them good bye, and promising to bring them home some pretty present.


The mother had never been further from home than the next village, and she could not help being a little frightened at the thought of her husband taking such a long journey, and yet she was a little proud too, for he was the first man in all that country side who had been to the big town where the King and his great lords lived, and where there were so many beautiful and curious things to be seen.

At last the time came when she might expect her husband back, so she dressed the baby in its best clothes, and herself put on a pretty blue dress which she knew her husband liked... Continue reading book >>

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