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I Will Die Beautifully Today!
on December 24, 2007
In his memoir, Tadayoshi Sakurai takes readers to places they rarely venture: a death-dealing world of machine guns, grenades and swords -- The Russo-Japanese War.
Sakurai, a Japanese Army Lieutenant, shows a keen sense for detail in chronicling his role in Japan's siege of Port Arthur -- Imperial Russia's most important Far Eastern Naval Base -- from the landing of the Japanese forces in Manchuria until his wounding while storming the fortress.
The personal anecdotes and graphic details about how he copes with life in camp and on the battlefield draw the reader in even when the writing is very poetic. He writes his memoir in the self-sacrificing traditional Japanese military spirit. It's fanatical, close-minded and very intolerant, but it's never stale.
"Human Bullets: A Soldier's Story of the Russo-Japanese War" was first published in Japan where it became somewhat of a literary sensation.