Japanese Inn

Oliver Statler


The Japanese Inn is a book written by an American about a real inn called Minaguchi-ya. The author is from Illinois and he really liked the Inn so he wrote a book about it and it's long history. He made some of it up though but pretty much it's as true as is possible. He first came to the Inn in 1947 after America beat Japan in WWII. A Japanese Inn is a very nice place to stay. You get dinner and you sleep on these mats on the floor and they have these giant baths like mini swimming pools. Having stayed at one myself, they are quite relaxing.



The book takes you from when 1957 when the author is driving to the Inn all the way back to when the Inn was founded. It is just a long long long book about this Inn. It has lots about Japanese History and too many details. It's really hard to do a summary because there is no plot. The Inn just was passed on from generation to generation and changed with the times. The best thing to do is go by the chapter by chapter.



Chapter 1 - the inn is introduced



First and second generations

Chapter 2 (1569-1582)- the inn is founded

Main characters:

Takeda Harunobu (Shingen) - chief of the mountain clan Takeda

Imagawa Yoshimotot - chief of the coastal clan Imagawa

Sessai Choro - Abbot of the Seikenji temple. Also the general in Imagawa's army and tutor to Ieyasu when he was young.

Tokugawa Ieyasu - chief of the Tokugawa clan

Mochizuki, A samurai (Japanese warrior) who is hired by Shingen and founds the Japanese Inn.

His son.



Chapter 3 (1582-1605) Mochizuki is reluctantly pushed into innkeeping.

Main Characters:

Oda Nobunaga: Ally of Ieyasu who helps to unify Japan.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Chief of staff for Oda Nobunaga who betrays him and achieves the Unification of Japan.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: Our old buddy who takes over as leader of Japan from Hideyoshi.

Sen Rikyu: tea master to Hideyoshi…how exciting.

Mochizuki and his son again.


Chapter 4 -(1947 & 1605-1621) The author first goes to the inn

Main Characters:


Isako: Mistress of the Inn

Mochizuki Ryozo: Her father


Gen'emon: ancestor of Isako's family and a friend of Ieyasu

Ieyasu: We all know him now

Will Admas: First Englishman in Japan and a friend of Ieyasu and Mochizuki

Don Roderigo de Vivero y Vellasco: Shipwrecked Spanish governor of the Phillipines.

Mochizuki and his son: We all know them too.



Fourth Generation

Chapter 5 (1651-today) the Inn is involved in a rebellion

Main Characters:

Yiu Shosetsu: rebel

Marubashi and Kato: Yiu's aides.

Priest Kakunen: served the rebels

Mochizuki: the 4th master of the inn.



Sixth and Seventh Generations

Chapter 6 (today and 1691) More about the Inn

This chapter talks about the old visitors of the Inn and all that. It's really boring.


Chapter 7 (1690s)

Main Characters:

Mochizuki Hanzo: head of the Inn


Chapter 8 (1690's) - more about the place around the Inn

This chapter talks about medicine shops around the Inn back in the old days. Nothing special.



Chapter 9 (1690's) -the happy pilgrims who traveled the Tokaido road


Chapter 10 (1701-1703)


Fifteenth and Sixteenth Generations

Chapter 11 (1842)


Chapter 12 (1820-1893)


Eighteenth Generation

Chapter 13 (1889-1940) The Inn becomes even more modern


Twentieth Generation

Chapter 14 (1940 - 1957)


Chapter 15 (1957) the Emperor and Empress honor the inn