Black Rain

Front Cover
Kodansha International, 1969 - Fiction - 300 pages
34 Reviews
Black Rain is centered around the story of a young woman who was caught in the radioactive "black rain" that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. lbuse bases his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust; the result is a book that is free from sentimentality yet manages to reveal the magnitude of the human suffering caused by the atom bomb. The life of Yasuko, on whom the black rain fell, is changed forever by periodic bouts of radiation sickness and the suspicion that her future children, too, may be affected.

lbuse tempers the horror of his subject with the gentle humor for which he is famous. His sensitivity to the complex web of emotions in a traditional community torn asunder by this historical event has made Black Rain one of the most acclaimed treatments of the Hiroshima story.

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Review: Black Rain

User Review  - Janice - Goodreads

It is supposed to be a novel inspired by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. However it reads like, as the jacket states, a documentary novel. For me it lacked emotion. It seemed to just be stating facts ... Read full review

Review: Black Rain

User Review  - Tomi - Goodreads

Incredibly good book; the effects of the atomic bomb from the point of view of the ordinary Japanese. Not only does the book describe the incredible suffering many people living near Hiroshima went ... Read full review

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About the author (1969)


MASUJI IBUSE was born in Kamo, Hiroshima Prefecture, in 1898. He majored in French at Waseda University and joined the School of Fine Arts to pursue a serious interest in painting. His first story, "Salamander," was published in 1923, when Ibuse was still a student, and by the early 1930s his eloquent use of dialect and his unique prose style had established him as one of the leading figures in the Japanese literary world. In the years since 1938 he has been awarded almost every literary prize in Japan, and on the publication of Black Rain (1966) Ibuse was presented with both the Cultural Medal and Japan's highest literary award, the Noma Prize. Black Rain has been translated into eleven foreign languages.

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