Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Book Review Essay, Columns

Leaves from an Autumn of Emergencies: Selections from the Wartime Diaries of Ordinary Japanese

What is war like? How can we view war through the eyes of those experiencing it without knowing its certain outcome? Samuel H. Yamashita brings us major excerpts from eight extraordinary diaries, left by what he calls “ordinary Japanese,” that give us access to the inner lives of individuals in the midst of the great catastrophe of the Asian and Pacific War. All writing during the war in widely dispersed parts of Japan, these people tell us of their concerns and their experiences in deeply p...