Kodansha USA Inc (1980). Reprint, 308 pages
LibraryThing member uvula_fr_b4
Shiroyama, the person who is credited with bringing the Yakuza term "sokaiya" (denoting a type of genteel racketeer who disrupts shareholder meetings until he is paid off) into the public awareness, wrote a gripping and harrowing account of one of the only seven men executed as war criminals by the U.S. in the wake of Japan's surrender in 1945: Hirota Koki, an admirable diplomat (he served as Japan's foreign minister and prime minister prior to Japan's war with the U.S.) who had the singular misfortune of being an honorable man among oh-so-dishonorable countrymen. It's not exaggerating the point to say that Hirota died for his honor, much to the delight of the cowardly militarists who were scrambling to save their own necks. Even the Nazis managed to have a turn as the good guys during the Rape of Nanking (an atrocity which the Japanese government has yet to acknowledge), but nothing could help Hirota.
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Contemporary Japanese Literature: An Anthology of Fiction, Film, and Other Writing Since 1945 by Howard Hibbett