Yoshida Mitsuru''s first-hand account of the Second World War battle leading to the destruction of Japan''s battleship Yamato is a classic of war literature'
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The name "Yamato" is synonymous with a cartoon space craft on television to most young Japanese today. They are blithely unaware of the huge super-battleship that sunk, along with the majority of its crew and its nation's hopes, in April 1945 under heavy American fire off Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean. Among the few survivors was Mitsuru Yoshida, ensign, assistant radar officer on the ship. His first-hand account of the battle, and the preparation of the ship's company for it, is a startling piece of literature, quite without precedent, a minor classic in Japan but here published unabridged in English for the first time. It takes the form of a log or journal, mostly in the present tense, but with a free attitude to perspective when the occasion demands. The style is elliptical, often without verb or even subject, lending an urgency to sentences which often constitute dehydrated paragraphs. Best described as a prose-poem, it is worked in a style of Japanese used for military documents, which gives the writing the air of a despatch as well as suggesting the staccato rhythm of conflict.
The narrative rolls with the lurching inevitability of classical tragedy, absorbing in its stifled, sparse tone, though at times the going can be hard for all concerned. It brings to mind Saint-Exupéry's Flight to Arras, interspersing action with contemplation, giving potted biographies of people who die before we reach the end of the sentence. Yoshida's vivid descriptions resonate with every shell as what simultaneously detonates within him is the realisation of the arbitrariness of death, something common in survivor literature, how a fraction of circumstance can make the most crucial difference, and how banal it actually is. That the task force headed by "Yamato" was kamikaze merely adds to the futility, but from such tragedy has come this curious, original account that deserves to be accorded minor classic status wherever it is read. --David Vincent
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Book Description Book Club Associates, 1999. Book Condition: Very Good. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP28667258
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001883092
Book Description Constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Fine in fine un-clipped d/j.1st uk edition. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1484930391
Book Description Constable & Company Limited, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good ++. Dust Jacket Condition: Good Plus. First UK Edition. Not ex-library.The pages generally very clean and bright. Shows little signs of having been read. Page ends slightly grubby. Covers very clean and bright. D/J unclipped, generally very clean and bright, slight scratching, slight scuffing. Light curling to edges. Spine lightly rubbed to ends. Overall super clean bright copy.***NB this book is too heavy to send outside Europe, by airmail, without additional postage costs***. Book. Bookseller Inventory # T4963
Book Description Constable, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. In bright condition with a similar dust jacket Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 053812
Book Description London: Book Club Associates, 1999, London, 1999. Cloth. Book Condition: Very Good Plus. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Cloth. Very Good Plus/Very Good Plus. Book Club (BCE/BOMC). Hardback. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Hardback. Bookseller Inventory # 014489
Book Description Constable;, 1999. 8vo. Hardback. First UK edition. xxxvi, 152pp plus 16pp of b/w photographs and illustrations. The classic first-hand account of the Second World War naval battle leading to the destruction of Japan's battleship 'Yamato'. A New / Mint copy with no inscriptions, in a Mint unclipped dustwrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 32547
Book Description Constable First English Edition VG/VG protective covered 152pp numerous b/w photos 9 x 6 480g, 2000. This is a classic piece of war literature, in which the author gives his first hand account of the Second World War battle which lead to the destruction of Japan's battleship Yamato. Bookseller Inventory # 18120
Book Description Constable., 1999. Book Condition: Very Good. First. Hard Cover. Book- VG+. Dj- VG. 9x6. 152pp. Some b/w illus. Bookseller Inventory # 1881632
Book Description Constable & Co, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good Plus. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good Plus. Translation and Introduction by Richard H Minear. Black cloth book with metallic red text to spine. Pictorial dust jacket. Tight bright copy. When securely packed this item will weigh in the region of 438g. (YBP Ref: 1269/19 1-C1) Size: 8vo - over 73/4" - 93/4" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 003020