(From the publisher):
It is summer in the old imperial city of Kyoto. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki there are reports of terrible happenings—entire populations wiped out with one powerful lightning bomb unleashed from an American plane. The people await final instructions from their Emperor—death rather than dishonor or defeat. But Japan surrenders and life goes on after all. The Americans arrive, bringing the seeds of profound change—affecting the life of even the ten-year-old schoolgirl Saya.
Saya's father is the Guji, a high Shinto priest, a man of rare spirituality, intelligence, and moral integrity, who had tried to warn Japan's rulers against the war. Saya's mother is a self-righteous woman who clings to the traditions and aesthetic principles of her samurai grandfather. The bitter conflict between the parents reflects the dilemma of Japan—the need to relinquish empty tradtions and adapt to the overthrow of established values.
It is through Saya's perspective that the story is told. Her observations of the changes that occur in her environment, her encounters with the Christian world, her experience with violence and tenderness, hunger and death...all are presented in a special way that provides unexpected insights into Japanese feeling, mentality, adaptability, shrewdness, and strength.
Original title: Abendkranich
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ World War II
Fiction→ Historical→ Asia→ Japan