Title: The New Samurai: The Extraordinary Story of the Transformation of Japan
Speaker: Lesley Downer - profile below.
Date: Wednesday September 11th 2019
Time: 18:20 - Doors open
18:30-20:00 Presentation in English by Lesley Downer
20:00-20:30 Group discussion (Two groups, one in Japanese & the other in English)
*Please feel free to join the event at any time.
Place: The City of London (Nearest Tube stations-Moorgate, Bank & St Paul’s)
Price: £8 per person *Advance payment is required in order to secure your booking.
Booking: Please book via 'Contact' on this website. Your friends are welcome!
Journalist and writer
On July 8th 1853 four enormous American warships appeared at the mouth of Edo Bay, threatening Edo. For Japanese of the day it was as shocking as if aliens had landed. The next year Commodore Perry returned to force the government to open the country. After fifteen years of upheaval a new government of radical young samurai took over and set about transforming Japan. Within a year rickshaws were clattering through the streets. Women experimented with bustles and bonnets and men ate beef, cut off their samurai topknots and started wearing boots and Inverness capes. Lesley Downer spent 15 years immersing herself in this period and has written four novels about it. She will tell the dramatic story of the coming of the Black Ships and the transformation of Japan, with lots of glorious pictures.
Lesley Downer first went to Japan more than thirty years ago and her life has revolved around Japan ever since. She is the author of many books on Japan, including Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World and a quartet of novels bringing alive the extraordinary years in the mid-19th century when Japan changed overnight from a feudal to a modern nation: The Shogun’s Queen, The Last Concubine, The Courtesan and the Samurai and The Samurai’s Daughter.
The Shogun’s Queen:
The Last Concubine:
Official website: https://www.lesleydowner.com/