The Return of a Shadow by Kunio Yamagishi – Book Review

*AD-Gifted: I received a copy of The Return of a Shadow in exchange for this post.

What drew me to The Return of a Shadow was the compelling blurb. I’m a fan of Japenese culture and love to read about it in the few minutes spare I have. This heavy character-based story of Eizo is an absolute gem. Reading about his life and how hard he worked to send money back home, felt heartbreaking at times.

The Return of a Shadow by Kunio Yamagishi - Book Review

Book Description

Eizo Osada had his shadow, always there inside his head, ready, unbidden, to announce itself. And it did; criticising, asking awkward questions, prompting. It had been there since he left Japan for Canada over forty years ago. He had left his wife and three young sons, one of them only two years old, to earn money to maintain the family back home. Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. A worried Canadian government interned Japanese people. Eizo spent the next few years in camps.

After his release, his shadow questioned why he did not go back to his family, but there was always a reason why he could not. Then there was the last letter from his wife twenty-three years ago asking him to stay in Canada as there was no employment in war-torn Japan. So he stayed, living a lonely life, saving so he could send money back. Now, approaching retirement, the time had come to return to the wife and family he had never known for so long. Little did he know what awaited him and how he, in turn, would become a shadow.

About The Author

Born in Fukushima, Japan, Kunio Yamagishi graduated from Hosei University, Tokyo, and immigrated to Canada. He worked at the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto, also in Toronto, Tokyo, and New York’s Wall Street as an investment banker.

His publications include short stories, magazine articles, and academic translation work

My Thoughts

Where do I start? A gripping book that has been thoroughly researched by the author. Amazing descriptions that make you feel as if you are living this life of Eizo’s with him. From the shoddy apartment that Eizo has lived in for years in Canada to his workplace and beyond.

You have to feel for Eizo. Working himself to the bone to send money home to his family for over 40 years. His last letter from his wife was 23 years ago, yet he still thinks nothing has changed. Bless him and his naivety. Reading about him going back to Japan and seeing how the country has changed alongside his family. His sons that don’t know him and his wife that has lost her mind will pull at your heartstrings. He doesn’t fit in here. He also feels he doesn’t fit in Canada.

The Return of a shadow is a fantastic novel that deserves to be read. I have given it 5 out of 5 stars.

Available From

Austin Macauley and Amazon


Thanks to Austin Macauley publishers for my copy.

You can find my other book reviews here.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

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4 thoughts on “The Return of a Shadow by Kunio Yamagishi – Book Review

  1. Sounds like a really good read although I am not sure about the heartbreaking part, I dont do sad very well!

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