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Eien no miyakoの表紙画像

FICTION

Eien no miyako

[Eternal City]

By Kaga Otohiko

Shinchōsha, 2015. 7 volumes; 2,984 pp. total. ¥27,000. ISBN 978-4-10-330815-7.

Also published in: Chinese

Eien no miyako is an immense historical novel, rivaling Tolstoy’s War and Peace in its volume. Set in Japan from 1935 to 1947, it shows the nation being swept along to militarism and conflict by the tides of history. At the same time, it depicts how people find joy in medical research, invention, love, art, and other peaceful pursuits, despite the pressures of the era. The harmonious interweaving of these opposing elements through the constant development of the main narrative means this truly can be called Kaga’s version of War and Peace.

    Historical events shape the story in succession: the February 26 Incident (an attempted military coup in 1936), the Berlin Olympics (1936), the nationalist celebration of the 2,600th anniversary of Japan’s foundation by the traditional reckoning (1940), the attack on Pearl Harbor (1941), wartime evacuations of Japanese cities, the firebombing of Tokyo, and Japan’s ultimate defeat (1945). Set against a turbulent historical canvas, this is a commandingly realistic historical novel deploying experimental techniques of contemporary literature. A broad range of narrative voices are interspersed with quotations from diaries, letters, and newspaper coverage. And the February 26 Incident is portrayed in detail like a live broadcast reporting the progression of the day’s events.

    With this work, Kaga Otohiko brings out the innately rich potential of the epic novel as a genre. This seven-volume masterpiece is a truly exceptional achievement in the history of the modern Japanese novel. (NM)
Eien no miyakoの表紙画像

By Kaga Otohiko

Kaga Otohiko

Born in 1929. Novelist and psychiatrist. Won the Minister of Education Encouragement Prize for New Artists in 1968 for Furandoru no fuyu [Winter in Flanders], the Japan Literature Grand Prize in 1979 for Senkoku [Sentenced], the Minister of Education’s Art Encouragement Prize in 1998 for Eien no miyako, and the Mainichi Publishing Culture Special Award in 2012 for Kumo no miyako [Cloud Capital]. His other books include Ikari no nai fune [Ship Without an Anchor] and Junkyōsha [The Martyr].

Translation rights inquiries

Shinchōsha Publishing Co., Ltd.
(attn. Kimura Tatsuya, Foreign Rights Section)
71 Yarai-chō, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8711
Email: t.kimura@shinchosha.co.jp
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