At Waseda University, Ibuse was greatly influenced by the works of Shakespeare and Basho; he was also an avid reader of French fiction and poetry. Ibuse went as far as to pawn a watch to try to understand the necessities of writers. In Ibuse met naturalist writer Iwano Homei. Ibuse started writing his first essays in , shortly after the death of Aoki. Ibuse often found inspiration in his loneliness and in his encounters with geishas, his first literary works where in the style of prose, he had severed ties with Waseda University and started writing for small magazines. In he published his most well known work, Black Rain, which won him international acclaim and several awards including the Noma Prize and the Order of Cultural Merit, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Japanese author.
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Apr 08, Mariel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: peninsulas Recommended to Mariel by: islands oookay, it was amazon! Sick birds hide their illnesses from other birds as well as from predators. The people in Black Rain with radiation sickness in Hiroshima might have taken their cue from birds It occured to me that the suspicion and paranoia were acting to shove them out as if they were already dead.
The mushroom cloud Alice ate turned everything bigger and littler and Sick birds hide their illnesses from other birds as well as from predators.
The mushroom cloud Alice ate turned everything bigger and littler and nothing made any sense. Could such a theme yeild, in the widest sense, beauty? Could it, in short, be fashioned into a work of art? I really like that Ibuse took all of these diaries and interviews as personal for want of a better word. Long ago in childhood. Old Japan. Black Rain is pretty huge.
First, though, the birds. Victims of radiation sickness who tried to work would die very soon after their hair and teeth would fall out, soon accompanied by other grossness.
The only prescribed medication was plenty of rest. The tears of mourning turned into bitter tears that turned into crocodile tears and passive aggressive mutterings.
Shizuma and his friend are ridiculed as "lazy" for taking it easy and going fishing. A simple walk would be too unseemly. It was weirdly funny when the invent a money making scheme with fish to "cover up" their lazy activity of fishing. I learned a lot about old fishing techniques.
I fished a lot as a little girl in Alabama. It was very different from this, for sure. Neice Yasuko cannot find a husband because of rumors that she has the sickness. Shizuma starts his journal for effort to show a prospective match and the meddling go-between that she was not in Hiroshima then. She was in the shower of black rain, however, when going back to look for her family. She was not the only one who went in there to find people. Yelling at my book did not stop them why not?!
Shizuma starts to get into writing his own diary of what happened. There was weird kinds of twistedness, too. It had been war time, after all. People were afraid of each other. One scholar bent himself into doing everything for everyone else in a desperate attempt to stave off betrayal his wife had been turned in for being friendly with Americans. Who cared, after all, which side won?
The only important thing was to end it all soon as possible: rather an unjust peace, than a "just" war!
Another time he feels it was all stupid. War is pointless? Yes, I agree. The internal turtle shell and external hells. The musings over the fear and hunger, like a kind of mental spark It happened and it was fucking awful.
I loved about Black Rain that it was all the way through, inside and out. Driven by the heat and trapped by the smoke, the had flung themselves face down in their suffering, only to be unable to rise again and to suffocate where they lay. So much was certain from the experiences of our own flight. Had not we ourselves hovered on the brink of a similar fate? It came from thesouth, and when it seemed to be directly above I involuntarily glanced up at the sky.
For a moment, I had a glimpse of something that looked like a captive balloon drifting lazily downwards in the sky beyond the barracks roof. The next moment, there was a white flash like lightning, or the light from a great mass of magnesium ignited all at once. I felt a wave of searing heat.
At the same time, there was a terrifying roar, and that was all I knew. What happened after that, or how much time passed, I do not know. Struck down by the blast, I may actually have lost consciousness. It was a train of the same Geibi Line that ran through my home in the country, and I had traveled back and forth on it a number of times during my middle school days.
The sound of its whistle cheered me immensely. Somehow, I felt I could not possibly die now that I had heard that well-remembered sound from the past.
The emotion that flooded me at the prospect of a time free from the sleeplessness, strain, and apprehension of the past three days made the three-hour journey seem excessively long and the train excessively tardy. Great, Mariel. Such was the power of the state. Actually, this was the rations for the eleven families in our neighborhood association, thirty-two people altogether, so many of the items were difficult to split up, and we used to divide them up among two or three families at a time: One cake of bean curd One sardine or small horse-mackerel Two Chinese cabbages Five or six carrots, giant radishes, leeks, burdock roots, bundles of spinach, or marrows Four or five eggplants Half a pumpkin I was very interested in all of the food parts of the story.
The survivalist stuff, like how they dug for clams under the bridge, or purchased from the blackmarket. Survivalist stuff! Did you know that eating parched rise is what the ancients used to eat on long journeys?
It also struck me that people were still concerned about keeping hold of their money after what happened. Like I said, surviving. More than surviving: keeping damned humanity and not treating people or history that happened like it is dead.
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Beautiful and horrifying. I think one hast to call Black Rain a documentary style novel. In order to write the book Ibuse has used real diaries and notes of victims and incorporated them in his book. Additionally the descriptions are so detailed and often matter-of-fact that the book reads in parts like a non-fiction account. She would like to get married but a marriage is endangered as there are rumours that she got in the Black Rain after the bombing of Hiroshima and suffers of radiation sickness.
Shizuma is a person that is intrigued by many things and likes to see what reaction people have from any action. Throughout the novel he feels the need to go to different parts of the city and surrounding communities in order to see the effects of the unknown bomb. Shizuma was not only interested in what happened to the people of the community but he was also interested in finding out what the weapon used was called and made out of. Something else that Mr. Shizuma wants to do is remember every little detail about what happens to everything from what angle the house was on after the bomb to what his wife cooked for dinner with the food rationing. He even likes to write how people cured themselves of radiation sickness and what the burns and other injuries look and act like.
Fukuyama Middle School was an elite academy and was linked to eminent scholars. Ibuse spoke of this school as following Western ideals; in The First Half of My Life he said that the school emphasized Dutch learning and French military exercises. Ibuse was made fun of at this school; he even went so far as to avoid wearing glasses in an effort to avoid being ridiculed. In , Ibuse even wrote a letter to Ogai with the pseudonym Kuchiki Sansuke. Ogai believed Sansuke was a famous scholar and sent a reply to Sansuke expressing his gratitude. Ibuse was reprimanded by the principal of Fukuyama Middle School but he was also praised by receiving two fan letters. The reprimand Ibuse received influenced him to express an interest in the visual arts.
Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain: Summary & Analysis