Claire Youmans first went to Japan in 1992 and was immediately captivated. After years of travel and study, she continues to be charmed and amazed by a fascinating history and a culture that's both endearingly quirky and entirely unique.
In 2014, she started Tales of the Meiji Era with The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy's unparalleled blend of historical fantasy in the first book of the series, Coming Home. She continues exploring the combination of history and folklore to share her love and fascination with a very different country and culture.
Exciting adventures continue to unfold in this delightful fantastical yet historical world. Follow these at www.tokigirlandsparrowboy.com, www.facebook.com/tokigirlandsparrowboy/ and on Twitter @tokigirlsparrow, and http://claireyoumansauthor.blogspot.com, where she frequently shares poetry and Life on th
Who doesn't love a dragon? Seriously, the incorporation of folklore into the lives of Toki-Girl Azuki, Sparrow-Boy Shota, Crane-Woman Tsuruko, Dragon-Girl Renko and more allows a greater field for exploration and gives the material for great stories that showcase Japan's unique character while being a lot of fun.
Why the Meiji-era?
In a span of about 50 years, Japan leapt from a decaying feudalism to a first-world power. That's amazing! So much happened so quickly! How did Japan make this transition so fast? How did Japan manage to do this while keeping its own unique cultural identity? What is there about Japan that make this possible? How were ordinary people affected? How did they cope? How did their lives change? I try to answer these questions with careful research into history as told through the lives of normal -- well, mostly -- citizens.
Fantasy meets History meets Fairy Tale in the exciting world of Meiji-Era Japan. Bird-children Azuki and Shota, their human and dual-natured friends and family join with folkloric beings as they grow up in a period of social change and expanding technology as their nation leaps from a decaying feudalism to a first-world power. Tales and adventures abound for the bird-children, the humans, the dragons and others, as they adjust to an tumultuous new world
Japan, 1875-6. Toki-Girl Azuki has found another dual-natured bird-human: Eagle-Boy Akira from far-away Hokkaido. He wants to join her family and friends but can he find a way to live as a human in a changing society where individual lives and wishes count for little?
Seventh in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series, from this tale of the Meiji era.
Japan, 1874. Princess Renko has her dragon family and her dual-natured friends. Why be human?
Her human husband dead, Otohime doesn't want a dragon one.
Trapped and helpless, the sisters must trust humans to escape.
Can they salvage their humanity?
Sixth in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series, engaging characters, Japanese history and myth form this tale from the Meiji era.
Japan, 1873. Former innkeeper Noriko married Uncle Yuta. His unique family's now hers, but who was she before starting her secret school? What she discovers is both shocking and sad.
Will her past help her forge a new destiny?
The fifth in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series brings complex characters, rich Asian lore and folkloric beings to this tale from the Meiji Era.
Japan, 1872 As guardian of the bird-children, Yuta goes to a conference. Rampant growth and foreign ways bring chaos, mistreated workers and a mysterious innkeeper. Can Yuta preserve his culture while working for progress? The fourth book in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series brings new conflicts, clashes of culture and unlikely heroes into this tale from the Meiji Era.
Japan, 1872. Are Toki-girl Azuki's artistic fabrics making her sick?
Sparrow-boy Shota looks for the Crane-girl to heal her so he can sail overseas, but vengeful sea monsters try to sink him. Can the birds and dragons defeat the Umi-bozu? Can Uncle make peace?
The third in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series joins Japanese myths with epic voyages in the Meiji Era.
Japan, 1871. Toki-girl Azuki find a treasure she hopes will stop a war.
She and Sparrow-boy Shota must tell their Lord! Demons attack and bandits lurk. They could lose the home they love forever.
Can they defeat the demon Tengu?
The second of the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy historical fantasy series, Japanese myths, folklore and adventure feature in this tale of the Meiji Era.
Japan, 1870. For Toki-girl Azuki, being dual-natured is dangerous. When a greedy lord kills her parents, Azuki flies away.
Sparrow-boy Shota must find his sister to return by the equinox or they'll never be able to.
Can they get home before they're forever outcasts?
The first of the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy fantasy series features Japanese myths, folklore and adventure in the Meiji Era.