This collection of diaries gives readers a powerful, firsthand look at the effects of the Pacific War on eight ordinary Japanese. Immediate, vivid, and at times surprisingly frank, the diaries chronicle the last years of the war and its aftermath as experienced by a navy kamikaze pilot, an army straggler on Okinawa, an elderly Kyoto businessman, a Tokyo housewife, a young working woman in Tokyo, a teenage girl mobilized for war work, and two school-children evacuated to the countryside. Samuel Yamashita's introduction provides a helpful overview of the historiography on wartime Japan and offers valuable insights into the important, everyday issues that concerned Japanese during a different and disastrously difficult time.
Leaves from an Autumn of Emergencies
University of Hawaii Press
Selections from the Wartime Diaries of Ordinary Japanese