the watanabe

IR Approved Author Sakura Nobeyama: “We all have trouble in our lives…”

The Watanabe Name received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Sakura Nobeyama.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The name of the book is The Watanabe Name, and it was published on July 18, 2019.

What’s the book’s first line?

Tuesday, December 31, 2002: Morning, Karuizawa – Village in Nagano, Japan New Year’s Eve was supposed to be a peaceful day spent alone at Kenji’s cabin, tucked away snug in the mountains.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

A Japanese tycoon contrives to keep the truth of his father’s 1967 murder – both who and why – a mystery to protect the family name, and he’s willing to die trying.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I wrote this book because I remember complaining to my father, an attorney practicing in Tokyo, about a delicate family matter that was troubling me when I was 15 years old. I told him how displeased I was to have such an unsavory confidence with potential to cause us embarrassment. “All families have secrets my child,” was his simple reply. From that day on, in bits and pieces, I began to understand what he had been trying to tell me.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

People will want to read this book for the same reason they like to listen to country music or the blues. We all have trouble in our lives and can relate to the sadness and like to experience the pathos a sympathetic character can evoke. Reading about Kenji’s life in Japan and how he witnessed atrocities as a soldier in World War II will take readers on an emotional journey they could never experience without The Watanabe Name.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The most distinctive thing about Kenji Watanabe is that he is willing to die to protect his family name from scandal brought on by the sins of others. Although this sounds like a Biblical reference, Kenji is not perfect – far from it. He reminds me of a kamikaze pilot who began to resent, distrust, or even hate the government that was forcing him to commit suicide for a lost cause but felt internal moral pressure to follow through for the good of others.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I decided to become an author when I was in high school.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

This is my first book.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I teach English and horseback riding.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I write on trains and between classes – two hours a day.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Natsume Soseki.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Kokoro (The Heart of Things).



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