“Reading the-end-of-war Diaries” by Akiyuki Nosaka
August 15, 1945 is an important date for Japan. It is when the emperor announced that Japan had lost the war.
Nosaka, who is famous for “Grave of the Fireflies”, dissects the war while using the diaries written by ordinary citizens as well as by famous writers. His sentences were a dagger. They made me think about war, humans, and Japan.
What struck me is the fact that although August 15 marked the “end” of war, it was just the “start” of war for many people. Okinawa was the only place where the land battle called “Typhoon of Steel” took place. It was not until on September 7 that Okinawa formerly surrendered, by when so many lives of civilians had been lost for nothing. For those who were living in Manchuria, Taiwan, and Korea, August 15 was also just another day.
One sentence sticks in my mind. “People in Japan perceive war as one of the natural disasters.” We must not forget that war is initiated by humans. It is not a natural disaster, it is a human-made disaster.