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Showa 1939-1944


Showa 1939–1944: A History of Japan continues the award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki’s autobiographical and historical account of Showa-era Japan. This volume covers the period leading up to World War II and the beginning of the Pacific War; it is a chilling reminder of the harshness of life in Japan during this highly militarised epoch.

Mizuki writes affectingly about the impact on the Japanese popu¬lace of world-changing moments, including the devastating Second Sino-Japanese War, the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the first half of the Pacific War. On a personal level, these years mark a dramatic transformation in Mizuki’s life, too. His idyllic childhood in the countryside comes to a definitive end when he’s drafted into the army and shipped off to the tiny island of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. His life becomes a constant struggle for survival, not only against the constant Allied attacks, but against the harsh discipline of the Japanese army officers. During his time in Rabaul, Mizuki comes to understand the misery and beauty of the island itself, a place that will permanently mark him and haunt him for the rest of his life.

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