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Requiem (Japan's Women Writers)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The end of World War II in the city of Yokohama, Japan, is portrayed through the heartfelt conversations and letters of two young women. Setsuko and Naomi, classmates and friends living in a bombed-out city, sort through their individual beliefs: "two girls, seventeen and fifteen at their next birthday, and though their real lives had yet to begin they were talking like ol ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Kodansha International (first published 1972)
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Nowadays, though, she might write to her brother "Take care of yourself," but not "Please fight for the country with all your might." She had learned how hard her young heart must have been to have written that message over and over without a twinge of pain.
A few GR people have this marked down as Young Adult, for whatever reason. It's about as Young Adult as Grave of the Fireflies is a children's movie, in that both happen to children and young adults and that's just the way it goes. Those wh
Requiem is a classic “I-novel,” in which the author’s own experiences are related in the third person via a fictional alter ego. Shizuko Gô (1929-2014) was sixteen and suffering from tuberculosis when—quite by chance—she survived the firebombing of Yokohama in May 1945. The same is true of the heroine of this novel, Ôizumi Setsuko, whose experience of the aftermath of the raids is described pp. 57-65. Setsuko survives, only to succumb to illness just as the American occupation troops begin to ar ...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 23, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Shizuko Go, Requiem (Kodansha International, 1973)

One of the review blurbs on the back of Requiem calls it "The Japanese counterpart of Anne Frank's diary". Actually, Requiem is a much better book than The Diary of a Young Girl; Go does a fine job of weaving her main character's dying moments in with recollections of the last year of her life. Go gives us no illusions from page one; her main character, Setsumo Oizumi, is lying in a bomb shelter close to death, clutching a grey notebook containin
This book was incredible, it pulls at the strings of the heart, and is truly soul wrenching. It's amazingly beautiful and despairingly ugly at the same time. All I wish is that I would've found this book sooner.
The book is about Setsuko, a sixteen year old dying in an air-raid shelter, as she goes back through her memories and lift of growing up in WWII japan as a patriotic Japanese girl and her friendship with Naomi the daughter of a man imprisoned for the crime of "Thought."
I would recommend t
Karlo Mikhail
Oct 07, 2015 Karlo Mikhail rated it really liked it
I like the way the horrors of the American bombing spree are shown in the novel. I also like how it gives space to Japanese voices who opposed the war and for this very reason were repressed by the imperial state. The book offers an excellent account on how the Japanese ideological apparatus worked to impart chauvinist patriotism and fascist ethos among its population to support imperialist adventures abroad.
Feb 28, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
Good book that demonstrates the nationalism taught and ingrained into young Japanese school children. Provides a narrative of a character against the war as well. Insightful into the often forgot fire bombings of Japan during WWII by America that were devastating killing thousands. Great commentary on war and it's questions.
Meg Bee
Feb 27, 2009 Meg Bee rated it it was amazing
Fantastically heartbreaking.
Jul 27, 2012 mart rated it it was amazing
(This is a fictional work.) A young Japanese girl's account of the end of WW2. Upsetting but very good.
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500 Great Books B...: Requiem - Shizuko Gō 4 30 May 06, 2016 07:58PM  

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“These days, even plain tea has become a treat, hasn't it?” 6 likes
“Here's my impression of you when we met the other day: you HAVE changed completely--but I wish you hadn't. I think I understand why you're on your best behavior at school, and I suppose I ought to praise you for showing such an improvement, but please don't force yourself to change too much. Please, at least when you're with me, be the same bright Naomi who chats about everything under the sun. You and I have grown up in different environments, we have different lives, and we also think differently--yet in spite of all these differences I'm sure we can be the best of friends. One day we may come to share the same ideas, but I'd like to believe that it's a natural growing together.” 2 likes
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