Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto

A Daughter of the Samurai

The autobiography of Etsu Sugimoto, a girl born into a samurai family in a time of great cultural changes.

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Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto was born into a samurai family in the years following the Meiji Restoration in 1868. In this autobiography, she recounts her experiences growing up in a culture with very strict expectations. As her family’s influence and power wanes, a marriage is arranged for her and she leaves to join her future husband in America.

Etsu’s story is interleaved with explanations of Japanese culture, religion, and history. As she is exposed to more of the world outside of Japan, she must reconcile the differences between the traditions she grew up with and the ideas of her new homeland.