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A Flock Of Swirling Crows And Other Proletarian Writings [Paperback]

Kuroshima Denji , Zeljko Cipris , Denji Kuroshima
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

February 2005 0824829263 978-0824829261
Why is education potentially subversive? How does ethnocentrism facilitate an oppressive status quo? Who actually benefits from war? Questions such as these were integral to the work of writer Kuroshima Denji (1898-1943), one of modern Japan's most dedicated antimilitarist intellectuals. He was wholeheartedly committed to fundamental change and produced numerous literary works expressing his passionate opposition to armed force as an instrument of imperialism. His only full-length novel, superbly translated here as Militarized Streets, was censored by both Japan's imperial government and the U.S. occupation authorities. Best known for his "Siberian stories" of the late 1920s - vivid descriptions of agonies suffered by Japanese soldiers and Russian civilians during Japan's invasion of the newly emerged Soviet Union - Kuroshima also wrote powerful narratives dealing with the hardships, struggles, and rare triumphs of Japanese peasants. The present volume comprises much of Kuroshima's most highly acclaimed work for the first time in English.

Frequently Bought Together

A Flock Of Swirling Crows And Other Proletarian Writings + Southern Exposure: Modern Japanese Literature from Okinawa + Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa (Manoa)
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Editorial Reviews


"A superbly translated collection of fiction by a Japanese proletarian writer, a work of artistry and integrity." -- Norma Field, University of Chicago

From the Back Cover

"Kuroshima Denji emerges from the ranks of unhonored prophets in these lively and engaging translations. The translator rescues an oeuvre lost not only in the West but also in its native Japan. We find in these works a cinema verité view of class brutality and war that contrasts with the fairy-tale Japan the Beautiful promoted by Japan's rulers and their American patrons. This collection, spanning the years 1925-1930, is recommended for anyone studying the crucial run-up to the era of Japanese imperial war in Asia and fascism at home." –Moss Roberts, New York University --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr (February 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824829263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824829261
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Militarized Streets April 11, 2006
The last of the selections in the book, Militarized Streets, is about Japanese troops sent to China to advance the effort to enlarge the area under Japanese colonial control.

What is remarkable about the work is that it's written from the point of view of the rank and file soldiers, who find themselves lied to about their mission, and becoming ever more conscious of how they have been betrayed to advance Imperial foreign policy aims, and Japanese business interests.

As the Japaese soldiers grow closer to Chinese workers at a match factory they have been sent to guard, and begin to defend them against their employers, who treat them with great cruelty, their officers kill a group of the soldiers to stop the growing dissent in the ranks.

The writer was a soldier in the Japanese Army, and the authenticity of his own experiences informs the work.

It's a good window into unknown land: that many Japenese soldiers hated what they were ordered to do, and resisted.

It's a very timely book.

Thomas Barton
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