One Man's Justice by Akira Yoshimura

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Synopsis

Japan just after World War II is the setting for this searching and provocative novel. Takuya, an officer in the former Imperial Army, is only mildly surprised when he receives a postcard asking him to report to the U.S. Regional Command Headquarters in Tokyo. He assumes that the occupying authorities have learned of his involvement in the execution of American prisoners-of-war. Now he is a fugitive in his own country.

As he travels on crowded trains through a land of defeat, humiliation, and hunger, he is haunted by dark memories of the war. With newspapers denouncing the Imperial Army and widespread talk of prosecution for war crimes, he fears that his past will be revealed. And yet Takuya doesn't feel like a criminal. Why should an honest and dutiful man like him be prosecuted by the very people who dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, slaughtering thousands? As he soon learns, truth and justice have no place in a world where the victors determine the rules of the game.
One Man's Justice is an unnerving story of timeless relevance from a master of the psychological novel.
 

About Akira Yoshimura

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Akira Yoshimura is the prize-winning author of twenty novels and short-story collections, many of them bestsellers in Japan. One Man's Justice is his third novel translated into English.Mark Ealey translated Yoshimura's Shipwrecks, among other titles. He is a professor of Japanese language and modern history at Christ Church Polytechnic in New Zealand.
 
Published August 3, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, War, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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And the closing pages, which focus on Takuya’s capture, nine-year-imprisonment, and unexpected release (in 1957), rise to a level of very nearly tragic irony—and also, incidentally, sow the seeds of Yoshimura’s superb On Parole (2000).

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The Guardian

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One Man's Justice by Akira Yoshimura, translated by Mark Ealey 217pp, Canongate, £10.99 The late WG Sebald criticised the silence of a generation of German writers about the firebombing of German cities in the second world war.

Feb 22 2003 | Read Full Review of One Man's Justice

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