Diary of a Lost War is the wartime journal of the famed author Unno Juza (海野十三), in which he gives a vivid account of life in Tokyo during the American air raids in the late stages of the Pacific War.
Unno, who is more familiar as the trailblazer of science fiction in Japan, turns his attention to real life this time; he factually describes the air raids and how he and the people around him coped with the ongoing collapse of the Japanese war effort.
Reajer book 30 (available on Amazon and iBooks) features the first two entries of the diary, and gives you an opportunity to get familiar with the peculiar style of Japanese diary writing – one of the major, and best, genres in the local literature. Let's take a look at the first line of the text:
At about 7:30 p.m. the air raid siren is sounded. It is a clear night. I get my family into the shelter. The enemy has sent two aircraft.
The most striking thing about this text is its brevity – almost like shorthand. One can really feel the haste and uncertainty of the writer, detailing the events as they happen without having the leisure to sit and contemplate them for any length of time.
Two immediately apparent characteristics of the text are that the sentences are very short, and the verbs are all in the present tense (or non-completed aspect, if you like linguistic accuracy). And in the phrase 警報鳴る, the particle が has been dropped – another feature of rapid writing or speech.
Some other things you'll learn in this ebook are:
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