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So Lovely a Country Will Never Perish: Wartime Diaries of Japanese Writers (Asia Perspectives: History, Society, and Culture)

By Donald Keene

The assault on Pearl Harbor, which caused the better East Asia battle and its preliminary triumphs, aroused delight and a number of different feelings one of the jap humans. but the one 12 months during which jap forces occupied territory from Alaska to Indonesia used to be via 3 years of poor defeat. however, until eventually the shattering finish of the battle, many jap persevered to think within the invincibility in their state. yet within the diaries of famous writers—including Nagai Kafu, Takami Jun, Yamada Futaru, and Hirabayashi Taiko—and the student Watanabe Kazuo, various doubts have been vividly, although privately, expressed.

Donald Keene, well known student of Japan, selects from those diaries, a few written by way of authors he knew good. Their revelations have been occasionally poignant, occasionally surprising to Keene. Ito Sei's fervent patriotism or even claims of racial superiority stand in stark distinction to the soft-spoken, kindly guy Keene knew. Weaving archival fabrics with own reminiscences and the intimate bills themselves, Keene reproduces the passions aroused through the battle and the sharply contrasting reactions within the yr following Japan's give up. even if unique or fragmentary, those entries converse the truth of fake victory and all-too-real defeat.

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The govt couldn't have accepted such sentiments to come up. Many authors, not like Kafū, had endured to submit through the battle. After the defeat, a few claimed that, although they really had adverse the battle, that they had been compelled to conform with executive directives. Th is used to be now not unfaithful, yet Yamada wondered such men’s dedication to freedom. He declared that if the americans and British have been to withdraw from Japan, the Japa nese wouldn't understand how to regulate freedom of speech or the other form of freedom:24 The Japa nese have defi nitely no longer bought both freedom or peace.

304. four. a dark New 12 months 1. access for December 31, 1944, in Nagai Kafū nikki, vol. 6, p. 262. 2. The identify Henkikan could be translated as “Eccentricity House,” an appropriate identify for Kafū’s place of dwelling. however it may additionally have had the which means of “painted 4. a depressing New 12 months three. four. five. 6. 7. eight. nine. 189 residence” (penkikan), rather than an unpainted Japanese-style wood apartment, in response to Edward Seidensticker, Kafū the Scribbler, p. ninety nine. Kafū had the home inbuilt 1920 within the Azabu district, a modern a part of the town.

He does 182 three. four. five. 6. 7. eight. nine. 10. creation now not specify no matter if he learn the european ropean works within the unique languages or in Japa nese translation, yet I think he learn French and German authors within the originals. access for January 31, 1944, in Yamada Fūtarō, Senchūha fusen nikki, p. fifty six. access for September 29, 1943, in Kiyosawa Kiyoshi, Ankoku nikki, p. ninety five, and A Diary of Darkness, p. 87. access for June 22, 1944, in Kiyosawa, Ankoku nikki, p. 192, and Diary of Darkness, p. 207. access for June 28, 1944, in Kiyosawa, Ankoku nikki, p.

19 time and again, he additionally recorded expanding hassle in helping his kinfolk: “There isn't any funds in the home. we've got adequate to pay the rice broker and the postal coverage, which they’ll be coming for this day or the next day, yet there’s no funds for the rest, and I’m apprehensive. I’ve made up my brain I’ll earn a few funds through writing through the 52 Fa l s e V i cto r i e s a n d R e a l D e f e at s finish of the month a narrative approximately litt le women or whatever for a children’s journal. ”20 The plight of writers was once genuine.

202. 27. access for March 10, 1944, in ibid. , p. 306. 28. access for October 18, 1944, in ibid. , vol. three, p. 136. 29. Kelly certainly died courageously in an att ack on a Japa nese cruiser, yet, opposite to what's ordinarily believed, he didn't obtain the Congressional Medal of Honor, however the extraordinary Ser vice pass. 30. access for October 20, 1943, in Itō, Taiheiyō Sensō nikki, vol. three. p. one hundred forty. 31. access for October 29, 1943, in ibid. , p. a hundred and forty four. 188 three. Fa l s e V i cto r i e s a n d R e a l D e f e at s 32. either the Japa nese military and army had planes that performed suicide att acks on American warships.

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