School of freedom

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Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2006 - Literary Collections - 256 pages
Freedom is a great thing, but it comes at a cost: this contemporary theme is explored in this novel set in 1950s Tokyo. The story unfolds among the lives of ordinary people, from the former aristocrat to the humble hobo, in the era between defeat under the militarist regime and reconstruction under an Occupation-controlled "democratic" order. A keen observer of both sexes, Shishi's characterizations go beyond their cultural milieu, evoking universal human nature and impulses. This novel is both refreshing and revealing in its dismissal of gender stereotyping, and in its depiction of the people of Tokyo pulling themselves out of the chaos of war.

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