Zone of Emptiness

Zone of Emptiness

Zone of Emptiness

Zone of Emptiness


Japan is no doubt a strange land to westerners, a mysterious country, difficult to understand, and also responsible for the first war of the Pacific.

When the war broke out, the country was dominated by militarism. Yet foreigners must be informed that the Japanese people did not identify their destiny with that of militarism. I hope that my novel will provide the reader with a true picture of what my country was like when it was under the yoke of this dominating force.

When I became a soldier, my chief desire was to penetrate the Japanese soul, to understand more clearly its inner workings.

At that time, it was impossible to publish a book, a report, a paragraph, or even a line about the Japanese army. Anything dealing with the war had to be steeped in the military spirit. Unbiased works were therefore rare.

And so, for a long long time, the Japanese army remained a mystery to the rest of the world. I hasten to say that I do not claim to have given a complete picture of it in my novel. Besides, I have tried to describe not only the Japanese army but also what is universal in the Japanese soul.

The Japanese army is not a mere memory of the past. The rearmaªD ment of Japan and the rebirth of the militaristic spirit are current issues. However, I think that the Japanese people will reject these solutions and will choose peace.


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