Joyce Chapman Lebra was Professor of Japanese History and Indian History at the University of Colorado until her retirement.
The sole heir to the House of Omura, a venerable family of Kobe sake brewers, nineteen-year-old Rie hears but cannot heed her mother's advice: that in nineteenth-century Japan, a woman must "kill the self" or her life will be too difficult to bear. In this strict, male-dominated society, women may not even enter the brewery—and repressive tradition demands that Rie turn over her family's business to the inept philanderer she's been forced to marry. She is even expected to raise her husband's children by another woman—a geisha—so that they can eventually run the Omura enterprise.
But Rie's pride will not allow her to relinquish what is rightfully hers. With courage, cunning, brilliance, and skill, she is ready to confront every threat that arises before her—from prejudice to treachery to shipwrecks to the insidious schemes of relentless rivals—in her bold determination to forge a magnificent dynasty...and to, impossibly, succeed.
An epic and breathtaking saga that spans generations as it sweeps through the heart of a century, Joyce Lebra's The Scent of Sake is a vivid and powerful entry into another world...and an unforgettable portrait of a woman who would not let that world defeat her.