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TARO: Legendary Boy Hero of Japan by [Blue Spruell, Miya Outlaw]
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TARO: Legendary Boy Hero of Japan Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"A B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree." - INDIEBRAG
"Engaging and fun samurai adventures with a captivating cast." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A coming-of-age fantasy novel you don't want to miss." - READERS' FAVORITE, Five Stars Review

"An exciting adventure book that draws creatively from Japanese folklore and history." - BOOK LIFE BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Taro exudes a magical element reminiscent of The Jungle Book. . . . Immensely enjoyable." - READER'S FAVORITE, Five Stars Review
"A superbly plotted mythical tale packed full of larger than life characters. Highly recommended." - A "WISHING SHELF" BOOK REVIEW
"In this blend of fantasy, myth, and history . . . Spruell goes above and beyond." - THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS
"Spruell's engaging coming-of-age debut . . . sparkles." - BOOK LIFE REVIEWS

"A riveting tale of betrayal, honor, and revenge that instantly hooks you in and just refuses to let go. . . . I absolutely loved the book." - READER'S FAVORITE, Five Stars Review
"A story of myth and mythology . . . as sharp as a samurai's sword." - AUTHOR ABBY LANE
"For fantasy fans or lovers of Japanese culture . . . Spruell offers much to appreciate." - BLUEINK REVIEWS

"A highly imaginative and engrossing . . . retelling of . . . Japan's most beloved folklore." - READER'S FAVORITE, Five Stars Review
"An enchanting coming-of-age fantasy novel . . . steeped in Japanese culture and history." - FOREWORD CLARION REVIEWS
Tarō is a magical adventure . . . a very enjoyable tale." - HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
"The narrative is magical, Taro's development is powerful, and the story is powerful too. Tarō . . . is absolute perfection." - READER'S FAVORITE, Five Stars Review

From the Author

Tarō is the quintessential hero of three timeless Japanese folktales: Kintarō (Golden Boy), Urashima Tarō (Island Boy), and Momotarō (Peach Boy). Each legend stands alone, bearing no relation to the others except in name.

Some years ago, I saw a parallel between the personalities of Japan's three Great Unifiers and Momotarō's animal companions, the pheasant, monkey, and dog. I thought it might be amusing to write a short story drawing on this comparison. What began as a little excursion became a grand adventure. While the rest may not be history per se, I hope the reader will enjoy this new yarn as much as I enjoyed spinning it.

Many of the people and places in this story are real, although the circumstances are fictitious and bear no intentional resemblance to any locations or persons, living or dead. This story reimagines the pivotal period in Japan's unification, sengoku jidai, the age of the country at war.

In the sixteenth century, feudal Japan was a collection of warring provinces, nominally affiliated with the imperial family, which wielded little to no real power. For all intents and purposes, the sword of the samurai, the warrior class, ruled the realm. The three great warlords of Japan were, in order of their preeminence, Oda Nobunaga, Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Each daimyō demonstrated qualities critical to Japan's unification. Oda was notoriously ruthless and cruel; Hashiba, cunning and manipulative; Tokugawa, diplomatic and patient.

A famous Japanese poem about their respective, formidable methods translates:
If the cuckoo does not sing, kill it. [Oda]
If the cuckoo does not sing, coax it. [Hashiba]
If the cuckoo does not sing, wait for it. [Tokugawa] Another famous verse describes their roles in the history of Japan's unification: 
Nobunaga pounded the rice.
Hideyoshi kneaded the cake.
Ieyasu ate.
Quite naturally, each of these men possessed legendary personalities. Oda was infamously mercurial but surprisingly liberal in his adoption of Western influences, most notably the matchlock gun, as well as his patronage of the arts, especially chanoyu, the tea ceremony. Unlike his contemporaries, Hashiba had not been born to the warrior class but rose through the ranks from his appointment as Oda's sandal-bearer and ultimately succeeded his lord who, ironically, had cruelly nicknamed his vassal "little monkey" because of his slight frame and reputedly ugly face. Tokugawa claimed birthright to the hereditary title of shōgun, a de facto military dictator, and ushered in three centuries of peace when he secured his title following the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

Another contender in this celebrated conflict deserves special mention, Takeda Shingen, the warlord whose death Akira Kurosawa popularized in his superb film, Kagemusha, the "shadow warrior." A contemporary of the three Great Unifiers, Takeda was an exemplary samurai and military tactician. Had his life not been cut short, who knows how high he might have risen in the annals of Japan? As a final introductory note, before Takeda received his Buddhist name of Shingen, his family called him Tarō.

Blue Spruell

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08QQ6YQPN
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Out of the Blue Productions, LLC (December 15, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 15, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 10818 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 274 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 173572923X
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 96 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
96 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Andy Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Folk Tale of Feudal Japan
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2021
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Eva Sümeghy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, lovely illustration
Reviewed in Germany on July 28, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good Samouraï story !
Reviewed in France on April 13, 2021
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