A thrilling novel of the opening of Japan to the West, by the acclaimed author of Saigon and Peking
A fleet of smoking black ships steam past Japan’s tributary islands in July 1853, setting off panic among a people who have been sealed off from the rest of the world for over two hundred years. Commodore Matthew Perry has been sent by the US president to open Japan to American ships and trade—by force, if necessary. Navy lieutenant Robert Eden, an idealistic New Englander, immediately recognizes that the colonial intentions of his technologically advanced countrymen toward the feudal, sword-wielding samurai will ignite a violent conflict. Inspired to pursue peace, he jumps ship and finds himself plunged into an entirely new world of menacing warriors, distraught Japanese who view Americans as monsters, and ravishing geisha. All of Eden’s efforts are in the name of a lasting peace, but can he survive the cataclysmic clash of two strong cultures?