The Samurais Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.

It is here that he first encounters the family servant, Matsu, who has taken care of Stephen’s grandfather’s beach house for thirty years. “This early autumn there didn’t seem to be anyone else here, just me, Matsu, and a complete, white silence” (9). Matsu did not impress Stephen very much in the beginning as he was rather quiet and uncommunicative. Although Matsu’s taciturn nature made Stephen feel uncomfortable, it did not hinder the development of their relationship. As the two begin to spend more time together, Stephen gradually discovers some of Matsu’s unique personalities traits. At one point Stephen states “You have a strong face. A face someone doesn’t forget. […] Like a samurai” (30). Matsu keeps silent after Stephen’s words, but the reader is able to infer that his heart has softened toward Stephen, and this moment aids in the development of their relationship.

Stephen and Matsu’s friendship continues to grow during the winter of 1937. At this particular juncture, Stephen has become accustomed to Matsu’s silence. Although Matsu is still a rather quiet individual, he is now able to open up to Stephen a bit more. “Matsu took his time before he finally looked up at me, his stare softening. ‘It was the anger speaking, not the man,’ he said” (91). Facing certain false accusations, Matsu shows his tolerance and patience. He is a man with a myriad of colorful life experiences, which has given him a compassionate heart towards Stephen, even while he is being falsely accused. At the same time, Stephen is now able to read Matsu’s mind as well. “I wanted to say something about how sorry and embarrassed I felt.

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