Tokyo Ever After – Emiko Jean
Japanese Americans, belonging, families, duty, japan, california, princesses, princes, royalty, young adult, fiction,
Izumi always felt like she didn’t fully belong anywhere but she is happily content with her life for the time being. She always had her mother and she is grateful for that. One day upon looking through a book she finds a love poem from her mother’s ex who turns out to be her biological parent. Her mother explains that they had a fling and he left America to go back to Japan. After some digging, Izumi finds out that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan. Within hours she is contacted by one of her father’s staff and is flown out to Japan to meet him. He offers for her to stay and get to know her father’s history and the history of Japan. As she is studying and interacting with the locals and her newly found family members, she realizes that she is far too American and is afraid of being disliked or rejected. Izumi makes it her mission to learn the history and get the best out of the two worlds she was born into.
My heart felt so many feelings when I was reading this novel. I can’t imagine the culture shock and the flood of information that the protagonist got when she found out that her father’s side is royalty to the oldest known monarchy in Japan. This novel points out that Americanization of a culture is destructive to cultures and their traditions. That is what happened with Izumi’s parents; they couldn’t be together since her mother was not only a commoner but American as well, which is a bad mixture. When Izumi learned the history and constitution of Japan as well as how royalty worked, she used her knowledge to impress and give respect to her grandparents.
Overall, I deeply loved the writing of this novel and felt that this was really good. I think the author did a splendid job with descriptive and sensory descriptions. The dialogue felt natural and nothing felt forced. There were references of modern events and going-on of the world that felt even more subversive to the narrative. I simply didn’t want to put down this novel because of how well the plot carried from one point to another. I highly suggest you go borrow or get this book to read because it is so magnificently written. I just love this novel and was so happy to have gotten to read it.