Mirror of Japan, Yamato No Kagami, is a light accounting of Japanese history, tales, and customs of Shinto spirits. It was a land of rules and absolute behavior, where every move was strictly proscribed, where was more important than substance, and every person was ON STAGE at all times. The sliding open of a door brought to the level of a one-act play. A land where persons killing themselves were required to do so with style and grace.
Treachery and betrayal were commonplace and honorable, but wearing an incorrect outfit to court was unforgivable. Forty-seven samurai were sentenced to suicide for proving that point of honor by killing a guilty trickster. Their crime: Not filing proper notice of their intentions. The Forty Seven Samurai are all buried under their headstones. There are in fact forty-eight headstones, but that's another story.
In honor of Lafcadio Hearn, who spent his life teaching English to Japanese children. His insight and written observation of Japanese customs and social behavior were helpful in writing this book. Oh, he was from Ohio, which is the Japanese word for Good Morning.