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The Silver Drum: A Japanese Imperial Memoir by Princess Chichibu, translated by Dorothy Britton

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This is the story of a Japanese Princesss and is the first autobiography by a member of the Japanese Imperial family to be published in English. Her name was Setsuko, Princess Chichibu, who was born in England in 1909, the daughter of the Japanese Ambassador who was later transferred to Washington. At the age of 18, she was unexpectedly "urged" to marry Prince Chichibu, younger brother of Emperor Hirohito. She accepted with reluctance, they were married within the year and she was "reborn" into the isolated and archaic life of the Japanese Imperial Court. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a remarkable "fairy" story and the Prince and princess became an adoring couple, only to be parted by the premature death of the Prince in 1953. Sadly, too, their story was set in the wrong epoch. Both self-declared Anglophiles, maintaining close links with the United States, when Japan entered the Second World War they had to endure the appalling nightmare of their mother country having declared war on their adopted countries. In the post-war years, now widowed, the Princess made numerous trips to Europe in an attempt to rebuild old friendships. She was greatly loved and admired. This autobiography, written when the Princess was already over 80 years of age, is full of nostalgia and detail yet as she herself notes, "...there were some things I could not bring myself to recount".

Product details

Goodreads rating: 3.67

Condition: Used - good

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 244 pages

Dimensions: 140 x 229 x 24mm, 502g

Publication date: 31 Hul 1996

Publisher: Global Oriental Ltd.

ISBN-13: 9781860340048