The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

ANDREW E. BARSHAY
Knowledge Painfully Acquired:
The Gulag Memoirs of a Japanese Humanist, 1945Ė49

Between 600,000 and 700,000 soldiers of Japanís Kwantung Army were interned in the Soviet gulag following Japanís defeat in 1945. Their experiences are recounted in some 2,000 memoirs, of which Takasugi Ichirōís Kyokkō no kage ni (In the shadow of the northern lights, 1950) was among the first and most significant. In it, Takasugi attempted to interpret both the phenomenon of Stalinism and his own role as a Japanese, and a Japanese soldier, in the history of his time. For Takasugi, the claim of ethnic solidarity merely displaced one collectivism onto another: the point, he learned, was to transcend it.

Volume 36, Number 2 (Summer 2010)
© 2010 Society for Japanese Studies


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