In English for the first time: Ishikawa Tatsuzo's compelling account of the Sino-Japanese War
In 1937-38, when the novella was written and published, Ishikawa was a young man of 32. On 29 December 1937, he was sent by the editors of the liberal journal Chuo Koron to chronicle Japanese military exploits in China. The obvious place to go was Nanjing, the recently taken capital city of Nationalist China. Arriving in Nanjing via Shanghai on or about 8 January 1938, Ishikawa spent eight days in the city, talking to Japanese infantry soldiers rather than officers, before returning to Japan and completing the manuscript of Ikiteiru heitai in just eleven days. It was published in February, in the March edition of Chuo Koron.
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