In 1871, five little girls clothed in rich, embroidered silk, their hair elaborately dressed, were presented to the Empress of Japan. Two were teenagers, the smallest was only six. The Empress commended them for their intention to study abroad. No Japanese girl had ever studied abroad. Most had not studied at all. Soon they would board ship and sail to America, destined to stay until they were adults. They had no choice. Raised as obedient daughters of high ranking Samurai they simply did as they were told. Emerging from a civil war, Japan was rushing to embrace all things western. The girls were sent to become enlightened wives for the new generation of Japanese leaders. They were then to bring this wisdom to those at home. Fostered to loving, supportive families, they soon became typical American schoolgirls.
This was a fascinating and well researched look into the lives of these girls and it was so well written that I felt as if I knew them.
eGalley review Publication date 5.4.15
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