Paterson, Katherine. The Sign of the Chrysanthemum. New York: Harper Trophy,
Katherine Paterson catches the interesting and lifelike experiences of a Japanese teen in one of her extraordinary novels, The Sign of the Chrysanthemum. Closing in on a tie between realistic fiction and historical fiction gives way to a surprising victory for historical fiction for the result that this book was set in the time of the twelfth-century Japan and the quarrel of two actual rival clans: the Genji and the Heike! In this historical fiction novel it tells of a boy named Muna who sets off to find his father for a noble name after his mother’s death. During the free ship ride he meets a ronin named Takanobu who becomes his friend. The Red Dog catches on fire and Muna is saved by Fukuji, the swordsmith. Takanobu, who comes back from his pretend death, claims to be his father and tells Muna to give him a sword from Fukuji. Muna steals the sword of Fukuji and reacts soon after he sees the ugly truth of Takanobu with a swing of the sword towards his hand. Fukuji receives the sword back from Muna and forgives him. At the end, Muna decides to keep his name, no name and as Fukuji heard that he made Muna his apprentice.
A very well approved theme is the motto: “Through fire is the spirit forged,” meaning through the pain of Muna’s spirit or experience is when his true personality or soul has been acknowledged into the inspirational outlook of his own heart. For instance, Muna’s mother died so he went to find his father. Another result was that Kawaki had died due to a serious disease so his daughter Akiko who Muna had loved was sent to a bawdy house. As an attempt to save her he got beat up by Kato the bodyguard of the bawdy house. When Fukuji asked Muna to choose any name that he wanted, he decided to keep the name, Muna because either way it wouldn’t change who he was. As a result, Fukuji made him his apprentice, after he,...