Shūeisha (Shūeisha Shinsho), 2015. 192 pp. ¥700. ISBN 978-4-08-720789-7.
Also published in: n/a
During the war she was an enthusiastic supporter of Japanese militarism. She never considered the idea that Japan might lose the war. She worked without complaint when she was mobilized to provide underage labor for the war effort. As the situation went from bad to worse for Japan, she joined in efforts to lessen the plight of the Japanese farmers in the pioneer settler villages, only to see the devastating reality where only women and children remained.
With the end of the war, the position of Japanese in Manchuria changed almost overnight. After the Soviet invasion and takeover by Chinese Communist troops, civil war broke out. When the area came under the control of Kuomintang troops, the girl fled and made her way back to Japan. Through her horrific experiences, she came to understand the reality of what had taken place.
Reflecting her determination to look objectively at what she experienced 70 years ago, the author refers to herself throughout as “the girl.” Sawachi Hisae has published many excellent works as a nonfiction writer, but until now had not treated her own experiences during the war. In this book she courageously lays bare the details of her personal life. We can feel the author’s strong will, at age 85, to pass her story on to her grandchildren’s generation. (CK)
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