Cover Image: Anne's Cradle

Anne's Cradle

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Member Reviews

This is the story of Hanako Muraoka, who translated Anne of Green Gables into Japanese. The book became remarkably popular in Japan and has remained so. This biography, written by her granddaughter, has now been translated into English for the first time, and what a great read it is.  Well-researched, comprehensive and wide-ranging, with many evocative illustrations, it’s not only a portrait of a fascinating woman but also a chronicle of Japan’s tumultuous 20th century, and will be of interest not only to lovers of literature but also to anyone interested in social and cultural history. Hanako was involved in Japanese publishing for many years and devoted much of her life to bringing quality literature to as many children as possible. She was well-known and respected in her field and way beyond. It would appear at first glance to be quite a niche biography but it’s much more than that and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's much more than I thought it would be since Muraoka led such a full life and interacted with so many prominent Japanese figures. Due to that, you also get a robust glimpse of the rise of Feminism and Women's Literature in Japan during the pre and post war period. It's also a good look at the impact of Western missionaries on girls and women in Japan and the role of Christianity.
It's very readable and Muraoka led a busy and impressive life, not without personal sacrifice and tragedy. This is a translation so I also give kudos to the translator; it reads very smoothly and naturally which is not always the case with translations. I hope the book will be picked up by many readers.
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