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Publisher's Summary

From Shion Miura, the award-winning author of The Great Passage, comes a rapturous novel where the contemporary and the traditional meet amid the splendor of Japan’s mountain way of life.

Yuki Hirano is just out of high school when his parents enroll him, against his will, in a forestry training program in the remote mountain village of Kamusari. No phone, no internet, no shopping. Just a small, inviting community where the most common expression is “take it easy.” 

At first, Yuki is exhausted, fumbles with the tools, asks silly questions, and feels like an outcast. Kamusari is the last place a city boy from Yokohama wants to spend a year of his life. But as resistant as he might be, the scent of the cedars and the staggering beauty of the region have a pull. 

Yuki learns to fell trees and plant saplings. He begins to embrace local festivals, he’s mesmerized by legends of the mountain, and he might be falling in love. In learning to respect the forest on Mt. Kamusari for its majestic qualities and its inexplicable secrets, Yuki starts to appreciate Kamusari’s harmony with nature and its ancient traditions.

In this warm and lively coming-of-age story, Miura transports us from the trappings of city life to the trials, mysteries, and delights of a mythical mountain forest.

©2012 Shion Miura. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2021 by Juliet Winters Carpenter.

Critic Reviews

“Narrator Brian Nishii brings the wide-eyed antagonist of this enchanting audiobook to life with subtle humor and warmth.... As he builds relationships and picks up the local dialect, Yuki discovers his new environs hold mysterious secrets, as well as a deep connection to Japanese culture. Nishii's performance captures Yuki's earnestness and frustrations as he learns how people survive off the land.” (AudioFile Magazine)

“Fans of all ages should enjoy the author’s blend of the traditional and the contemporary.” (Kirkus Reviews

“Miura (The Great Passage, 2017) takes readers on a journey with Yuki, a directionless young man, to the remote mountainside villages of Japan where the trees are plentiful, but cell reception is minimal. Miura lovingly depicts the shifting seasons and the challenges they bring to those who work in the forestry industry in Japan’s mountains.” (Booklist

What listeners say about The Easy Life in Kamusari

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I wanted it to be a true story

I would love to visit Kamusari and see all the forestry techniques first-hand. Ones which I had absolutely no interest in before reading this book. Making a boring subject interesting is an impressive skill.

1 person found this helpful

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Big Tree

A city boy from Yokohama goes the small town of Kamusari where he experience small town life & work among the trees in the forest....delightful read.

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Interesting information on Japanese life of a Forestry Intern

I enjoyed learning about forestry in Japan. Having spent time in the urban areas it was great to learn more about rural life.