Author(s): Avia Belle Moon
A THOUSAND YEARS OF LOVE is a historical novel set in ancient Kyoto, Japan, and Hangzhou, China, a city described by Marco Polo as "the greatest in the world." Join Lady Kaishi, a noblewoman of the Heian Court, as she tries to find her mother's grave site, somewhere across the East China Sea. Her search takes her from the ancient city of Kyoto, to the Temple of the Purple Clouds, on the shores of the West Lake in China. Along the way her journey becomes an inner one as well, as she begins to see the people closest to her in a new light. She is both observer and participant in the romantic encounters of the Heian nobility, struggling to maintain her identity, transcending gender and blood in a display as passionate and brilliant as the silver waves glittering on her layered kimono. THE HEIAN PERIOD (794-1185), was a fascinating era in world history. It was Japan's aristocratic age, dominated by the "cult of beauty," and the pursuit of aesthetic ideals. Heian Kyo (City of Peace and Tranquility), was located in Kyoto, surrounded by hills, rivers, and mountains. Within this natural setting lived the Heian nobility, in an atmosphere of elegance, mystery, and androgyny.
It was a time when the air was filled with the sound of Buddhist priests chanting sutras, and the fragrance of the finest incense...where elements of Chinese astrology, such as The Book of Changes (I Ching), the yin and yang, Taoism, and Feng Shui were studied and practiced in daily life. Heian society is perhaps best described by the most famous literary women of the Heian Period, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, in The Tale of Genji, and Sei Shonagon, in The Pillow Book.
Avia Belle Moon is the pen name of a freelance writer who has lived in Japan for the last ten years. She maintains a balance between fiction and nonfiction, and has written short stories and articles on Japanese arts and culture for various newspapers and magazines in Tokyo and Osaka, including The Japan Times and Kansai Time Out. A Thousand Years of Love is her first novel. She has many passions, including pasta, sushi, and Japanese art.