Laura Joh Rowland

Laura Joh Rowland

Laura Joh Rowland is a detective/mystery author best known for her series of mystery novels set in the late days of feudal Japan, mostly in Edo during the late 1600s. Her main protagonist was Nihongo|Sano Ichirō|佐野 一郎.

ano Ichiro

The novels deal with the experiences of Sano Ichiro, a samurai and minor official who by the end of the first novel, became the trusted chief investigator for the fifth Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, and by the tenth novel, promoted to a very high office.

Throughout the stories, Sano constantly had to deal with his problems following the code of bushido while serving both justice and his master, the Shogun; and with his wife, Nihongo|Ueda Reiko|上田 麗子, who frequently involves herself in Sano's investigations.

There are currently twelve volumes in this series, starting with the highly acclaimed "Shinju". The last published is "the Snow Empress".

Rowland takes some licence with known figures, creating fictionalised versions of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu. Objective historical details, however, are credibly accurate.

List of novels

# "Shinju (ISBN 9780061009501, 1994, Random House)
# "Bundori (ISBN 0747217173, 1996, HarperTorch)
# "The Way of the Traitor (ISBN 0061010901,1997, Headline Feature)
# "The Concubine's Tattoo (ISBN 0-312-19252-5, December 1998, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Samurai's Wife (ISBN 0-312-20325-X, May 2000, St. Martin's Press)
# "Black Lotus (ISBN 0-312-26872-6, Aril 2001, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria (ISBN0-312-28262-1, April 2002, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Dragon King's Palace (ISBN 0-312-28266-4, April 2003, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Perfumed Sleeve (ISBN 0-312-31889-8, April 2004, St. Martin's Minotaur)
# "The Assassin's Touch (ISBN 0-312-31900-2, August 2005, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Red Chrysanthemum (ISBN 0-312-35532-7, November 2006, St. Martin's Press)
# "The Snow Empress (ISBN 0-312-36542-X, October 30, 2007, St. Martin's Minotaur)
# "The Fire Kimono (ISBN 0-312-37948-X, November 11, 2008, St. Martin's Minotaur)


* It is not known if it is coincidental or intentional on the part of the author that the protagonist's name "Sano Ichiro" could be interpreted as a homage to one of Japan's most famous deductive fiction writers, nihongo|"Murayama Ichiro"|丸山 一郎, born in 1928, who uses the pen-name of "Sano Yo" ( [ 佐野洋] .)
* The title of the first novel is the Romanised form of the term written in kanji as 心中, pronounced as Shinjū, which refers to a suicide pact by a pair of lovers.
* The title of the second novel is the Romanised form of the term written in katakana as ブンドリ ("bu-n-do-ri"), which means "Seizing the soil of the vanquished.", or simply spoils of war or war trophy ( [ BUNDORI] ).


# "The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë (scheduled for April 2008, Overlook Press)

External links

* [ Laura Joh Rowland's Official Web Site]
* [ The Sano Ichirō Page]

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