A Diary of Darkness: The Wartime Diary of Kiyosawa Kiyoshi

A Diary of Darkness: The Wartime Diary of Kiyosawa Kiyoshi

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Overview

A Diary of Darkness is one of the most important and compelling documents of wartime Japan. Between 1942 and 1945, the liberal journalist Kiyosawa Kiyoshi (1890-1945) kept at great personal risk a diary of his often subversive social and political observations and his personal struggles. The diary caused a sensation when it was published in Japan in 1948 and is today regarded as a classic. This is the first it has appeared in English.

Kiyosawa was an American-educated commentator on politics and foreign affairs who became increasingly isolated in Japan as militant nationalists rose to power. He began the diary as notes for a history of the war, but it soon became an "inadvertent autobiography" and a refuge for the bitter criticism of Japanese authoritarianism that he had to repress publicly. It chronicles growing bureaucratic control over everything from the press to people's clothing. Kiyosawa pours scorn on such leaders as Premiers Tojo and Koiso. He laments the rise of hysterical propaganda and relates his own and his friends' struggles to avoid arrest. He writes in gripping detail about increasing poverty, crime, and disorder. He records the sentiments of the local barber as faithfully as those of senior politicians. And all the while he traces the gradual disintegration of Japan's war effort and the looming certainty of defeat.

A Diary of Darkness is a perceptive and courageous account of wartime Japan and a revealing record of the devastation wrought by total war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691001432
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 12/27/1998
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 7.75(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author


Eugene Soviak is Professor Emeritus of History at Washington University at St. Louis. Kamiyama Tamie is Professor Emeritus of Japanese Language at Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri and Professor of Japanese Area Studies at Obirin University, Japan.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Translators' Note ix

Introduction: The Liberal Cornered xi

1942 1

1943 9

1944 129

1945 297

Notes 367

Biographical Guide 371

Index 385

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