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"Extraordinary in detail and verisimilitude . . . a haunting read."—LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Posted April 30, 2003
The historical fiction novel, One Man¿s Justice, by Akira Yoshimura takes place in Japan immediately following Japan¿s surrender to the U.S. in World War II. The year is 1946, and the main character, Takuya, is on the run from occupational forces in Japan out to apprehend criminals of war. Takuya was an officer in the Japanese army who took part in an execution of American prisoners. Now that the war is over many Japanese prisoners accused of war crimes are being tried and executed. When Takuya realizes that he has been accused he decides to become a fugitive. Takuya also feels it is unjust, he states, ¿why should I punished for having pride in my nation?¿ (68). Takuya is constantly on the move, and paranoid throughout the story, ¿it was better that he stayed out of public areas Takuya thought in fear that he would be recognized.¿ (123). He moves throughout Japan relying on old friends, changing his name, and finding a job. The book also contains an unexpected ending. Overall it was a well-written book. The author blended great flashbacks, extremely realistic details, and a thorough plot. Once one starts readings this book they will realize that it moves rather fast-paced, which makes it easier to read. The author did a wonderful job on flashbacks, he constantly has Takuya reminiscing on his past, the war, and the night he executed an American POW. The author in general has a strong writing style; there wasn¿t a boring moment in the novel. The book is similar to many other World War II historical fiction novels in the aspect that it discusses the devastation Japan was in after the war. It differs though because many W.W.II historical fiction novels reflect a civilian¿s life after the war, while this one documents a fugitive soldier¿s. It is similar to other works of Yoshimura¿s such as Shipwrecks. It has hard to find an author to compare Yoshimura to because his style is quite unique. I myself felt it was a good book. I enjoyed learning about the condition Japan was in after the war, the economic depression, the food shortage, and the devastation of cities. It was quite educational. I also enjoyed how the book documented one specific soldier. It was a quick read, once one begins reading they will find that it is hard to put down because I found myself constantly wondering what would happen to Takuya. The plot also moves quickly which makes it even more of a fast-paced read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in World War II, Japanese culture, or who enjoys fugitive stories. It is a powerful book that remains gripping from beginning to end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 8, 2002
One Man¿s Justice was a fascinating book about the trials and tribulations that one man faces when he returns to Japan after World War Two. Takuya, a native man from a small town in Japan, had worked for the Japanese authorities during the war, and is now being accused of many war crimes. He becomes a fugitive in his own country. The book is set in the 1950¿s, it follows Takuya¿s path around Japan as he tries to avoid the authorities and potentially save his life. He returns to his house to visit his family for one last time, not realizing how close the police were to finding him. He is only able to spend one night there, and is on the run again. With money from his family, Takuya goes into hiding, creating for himself a new identity in another town. To Takuya¿s dismay, each step he takes is in fact bringing him closer to the very people he had once worked for, but now want him dead. This war story is magically written. Akira Yoshimura uses a superb amount of adjectives to describe exactly what is going on in the book. Each scene is well described and could be understood with ease. The book includes many flash backs to the experiences that Takuya underwent during the time he served his country in the war. Akira adds splendid details to interact with the reader in ways that most books are not able to do. The words flow, and the reader can almost become the main character. This book was written for many audiences, however it would most be enjoyed by those who like to read war stories. This book cannot be compared to many other war stories for the simple fact that it takes place after the war. It flashes back to the war in only a few instances. This book was written very well. It describes all of Takuya¿s experiences with such detail, the reader feels as though they are a part of his story. I thought the book was good. It got a little confusing at times, simply because I don¿t understand much about planes and guns. However, I would recommend it to others to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.