Reading Group Guide

  1. Book ImageDaughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back

    Janice P. Nimura

    "Nimura paints history in cinematic strokes and brings a forgotten story to vivid, unforgettable life." —Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

Discussion Questions

  1. Which of the three "daughters'" lives resonated most with you?
  2. Are there members of your book group whose own lives straddle two or more countries or cultures? How do these experiences affect their understanding of these women's lives?
  3. What did you find most surprising? Dismaying? Heartwarming? Poignant?
  4. Did this story shift any preconceptions you may have had about Japanese culture or early U.S.-Japan relations?
  5. History is not often told from the point of view of young girls. How did this perspective affect your response to the material?
  6. Could these women—charged with a mission to help educate their countrywomen to be good wives and wise mothers—be considered feminists? Why or why not?
  7. How did the photographs affect your understanding of the material? (For more photos not included in the book, go to http://www.janicenimura.com/photo-gallery/.)
  8. Although Janice Nimura became intimately familiar with Japanese culture through her studies and her husband's family, she is a white American. Does this fact compromise or enhance her ability to write this particular story?

Watch the Book Trailer

Photo Gallery

For a chapter-by-chapter photo gallery, including images that did not make it into the book, visit Janice P. Nimura's website.

About Janice P. Nimura

Janice P. Nimura is a book critic, independent scholar, and the American daughter-in-law of a Japanese family. She lives in New York City.

Books by Janice P. Nimura

  1. Book CoverDaughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back

    "Nimura paints history in cinematic strokes and brings a forgotten story to vivid, unforgettable life." —Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a GeishaMore