Before the Dawn

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University of Hawaii Press, 1987 - Literary Criticism - 798 pages
An historical novel portrays the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the changes in Japanese life after the arrival of Commodore Perry.

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

I generally do not like sad novels, but this is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read, even though its hero dies insane with despair over the betrayal of his life's work. It is an ... Read full review

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About the author (1987)

Poet and novelist Shimazaki Toson was raised on an old mountain road well-traveled in feudal Japan. As a young man, he lived in Tokyo, then retreated to the northern city of Sendai and lived in Paris during World War I. The poetry of Shimazaki's youth was inspired by the English romanticists. Written in a new, freer style, it set off a movement that eventually liberated Japanese verse from the dominance of tanka andhaiku. As a novelist, Shimazaki is perhaps best known for The Family (1911), acclaimed as a masterpiece of naturalistic fiction. His complex writing is passionate in its attention to the human dimension of abstract ideological clashes during turbulent historical transitions.

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