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Yatta!

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Yatta!

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 10.25.2005 6:39 pm

Finally, I have managed to finish Shonen H. 2 vol, 966 pages and nearly 9 months of work.

I am curious if anyone here has read it. I know it is somewhat controversial in Japan -- I've even seen it called a fraud, though I am not sure exactly why. I assume because the author trots out his current thinking as if he'd thought of it as a 14-year-old boy?

Still, a very effective book, I thought, by turns comic, suspenseful and touching.
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
InsanityRanch
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue 04.19.2005 2:17 pm

RE: Yatta!

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 10.25.2005 11:43 pm

Coming of age narrative, in the form of a third-person memoir.

It's the story of a boy who grows up during WWII -- he's 15 I think when Japan surrenders. It starts out with typical kid stuff stories. He starts school, wets the bed, breaks his arm, etc. When he goes to junior high the story picks up quite a bit. He chooses the school because he wants to be an artist, and the school is famous for producing artists. (In Japan at that time, jr. high was a terminal degree -- like high school here.) But by the time he enters, the school has become basically a feeder branch of the military, and most of the classroom time is gradually taken over by military practice of one sort or another. The school clubs are all military, for instance. He winds up joining the riflery club and actually is involved (at age 13 or so!) in a couple of what you can only call military operations. Also, the students spend about half their time as factory workers, manufacturing munitions for the war effort.

After the war he suffers a bit of a breakdown and almost doesn't graduate. But in the end he finds his way back to art and manages to get a start in the industry.

It's quite a good book, but not extremely easy. It has furigana, which is very nice. However, the vocabulary is difficult, with a lot of obsolete terms showing up. And the dialog is all in Kobeben, which took some getting used to. The narrative passages are quick reads, but the quotations -- from newspapers, from period patriotic songs, even from some kind of religious drama, and let's not forget part of the text of the Showa Emperor's radio address explaining the surrender -- are often quite difficult to unravel.

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
InsanityRanch
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue 04.19.2005 2:17 pm


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