Fourteen-year-old Seikei dreams of being one of the legendary warriors, a samurai. But samurai are born, not made, and Seikei is a tea merchant's son. Then a priceless ruby intended for the shogunthe military governor of Japanis stolen by a ghost, and Seikei finds himself having to display all the courage of a samurai. He is the only person to have seen the thief, and now the famous samurai magistrate, Judge Ooka, needs Seikei's help to solve the mystery. Soon the two are hot on the trail of the rubyand an unforgettable adventure.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: My Third Period Book Report Comment: I enjoy mystery books, and this book was my favorite so far. This book takes place in Osaka and Edo of Japan. The conflict is that a jewel has been stolen from a daimyo named Lord Hakuseki. The theme is that a young merchants son named Seikei, the only witness,is helping the famous Judge Ooka (also known as the Japanese Sherlock Holmes)solve this mystery. My favorite part of the book was when Seikei is presented with a sword, even though he is a merchants son. In Japan, only a samorai can have swords. My least favorite part was when Seikei described the "Ghost of the Tokaido Inn". He described it as"...larger than a man, eyes flashing menacingly, huge horns...". Seikei meet a traveling kabuki, or troupe,where he is forced to stay for a long period of time. Seikei feels that he is as good as a samauri should be, and writes poetry just like a samauri. This exciting book was very hard for me to put down, and it may just leave you hanging! Customer Rating: Summary: The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn Comment: This book is a great introduction to Japanese characters and Japanese life. It has elements of reality, Judge Ooka is based on a real life person in Japan's history, but the story itself is fiction. It is a coming of age story, a story about who we are raised to be and who we want to be. It is about following your inner voice and being true to who you are. Seikei is a boy who gets caught in a whirlwind of excitement while traveling with his merchant father to sell tea. The books talks about the cast system, if you are born a merchant that is what you are going to be. There is no becoming of a Samurai, even though that is what Seikei wants more than anything. When he becomes the only witness to a crime, and the famous Judge Ooka (called the Sherlock Holmes of Japan) calls on him for help, Seikei's father must allow him to help the Samurai/Judge, and Seikei is very excited. The book is a mystery, who stole the ruby gem, but it is about so much more; family, honor, dreams, and revenge. In this book, the boy Seikei goes through his journey alone. He has help from the judge, who directs him, or Bunzo who watches over him (without being seen), and Kazuo who becomes a sort of friend, but basically he is alone. He has no sidekicks, readers have few other characters to focus on, or receive help from. Seikei has to figure out what to do on his own; he uses logic and what he has learned about the honorable Samurai mostly from reading at the beginning, but some experience by the end. At the end of the book, Seikei gets his wish. He is adopted by the Judge and in turn his status is raised and he will be able to become a Samurai, following in his adoptive father's footsteps. Customer Rating: Summary: The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn Comment: In the story, The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. The character Seiekei changes a lot for something he wants. Seikei first goes on a trip with his father and they stay in a hotel called the Tokaido Inn. Something or someone steels a priceless jewel from Lord Hunsu. A judge comes and looks at the evidence they suspect that a girl stole it because they found a fake jewel in the girl's room that looked just like the real jewel. Then Seiekei tells the judge that he saw someone else steal the jewel. Judge Ooka and Seiekei go on a trip to find the real jewel thief. Judge Ooka and Seiekei go out and trace all the missing clues and figure out that the thief was a ghost. Seiekei decides to stay with Judge Ooka and not his father because that's the only way Seiekei can become a Samaria. Seiekei father decides to let him go with Judge Ooka because it would be better and his father doesn't make that much money. That is how Seikei changes. Customer Rating: Summary: An honorable book Comment: This book will keep the reader turning pages as they unravel this thrilling mystery. Every time you think you have figured it out, something happens that proves you wrong. Often something will happen that will refer you back to other ideas you had earlier in this mind boggling adventure. When that happens you think that the current thought is the only possible solution, then you will discover something else that opens a door in your mind to new possibilities- and questions. Smothered by many ideas and unanswered questions it will burn an imprint in your mind and you will continue until the end of the book when it all becomes clear in an exiting climax that reveals the criminal and the motive to the world. This is certainly a book that I would recommend to anyone of an older age (12+). This is indeed a tale worthy of a samurai. Customer Rating: Summary: A Thriller! Comment: The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
By Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
If you like Sherlock Holmes, this is a book for you. Fourteen-year-old Seikei, the son of a wealthy tea merchant longs to become a samurai, although he knows that this is an inherited honor that he can never hope to obtain.
Seikei's father is not such a dreamer and does not like the fact that his son can't stop talking about the samurai and is constantly referring to books about the samurai for information. So to get Seikei back to business, he takes Seikei along with him on a business trip. After a long day of traveling, Seikei and his father stop for the night at the Tokaido Inn. Inside the inn, a cruel and dishonorable samurai, Lord Hakuseki, is also staying. A precious jewel is stolen from the lord over night, and he orders the Inn on lockdown. When the great judge Ooka, the Japanese Sherlock Holmes, arrives they all searched the rooms and the jewel is found in the room of a young girl whom Seikei had recognized as the paper merchant's daughter that he had seen earlier on the street. The girl's family is accused of the theft but Seikei risks his life to save the girl and her family by interrupting the interrogation and yelling that they were not the thiefs. The interrogation stopped for a few seconds and then Judge Ooka motioned for Seikei to explain what he had seen. So, as ordered Seikei told Judge Ooka, that he had seen a ghost the night before and that he had thought it was just a dream, but maybe, just maybe the ghost had something to do with the theft. Judge Ooka admired the way Seikei risked his life to save others and so he decides to take Seikei with him to help solve the case. The book continues on, and Seikei must go undercover in a Kabuki troupe or "traveling performers" to help solve the case. Follow Seikei on a long journey where he is reminded to stay resourceful, honorable and courageous while he travels with only his instinct as his guide.
This is the best mystery book I've ever read. The book kept me attached the whole way through. What I liked about the book is how the author really exhibits Seikei's personality and makes the reader think that Seikei really was a nice, hopeful, honorable; and passionate Japanese boy in the 18th century. The author showed great attention to detail. For instance, the author specified each scene to the point where you knew the exact color and material of a certain kimono and even made sure that you knew exactly what Seikei's mood was wherever he went. Most importantly, the author made sure there where absolutely no boring parts; the author always kept you wanting more. The action all takes place in the Tokugawa period where Japan is ruled by an emperor and a shogun, and to preserve ones honor was above all else. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the ways of the samurai or just wants to read a great mystery!