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Black Rain

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3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,236 Ratings  ·  198 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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 15th 1988 by Kodansha (first published 1965)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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William1
May 04, 2014 William1 rated it really liked it
A sensitive handling of numerous eyewitness accounts of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima served up in novel format. The story starts one year after the bombing with the main character, Shigematsu, pondering the future of his niece Yasuko's marriage prospects. There is a persistent rumor that Yasuko was in Hiroshima City on the day of the bombing and now suffers from radiation sickness. Shigematsu, frustrated, as a means of correcting the inaccuracy, suggests a perusal of Yasuko's diary for Aug. 6 ...more
Mariel
Apr 19, 2011 Mariel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: peninsulas
Recommended to Mariel by: islands (oookay, it was amazon!)
Sick birds hide their illnesses from other birds as well as from predators. The people in Black Rain with radiation sickness in Hiroshima might have taken their cue from birds... I couldn't help but think of birds as I read about how the mutual horror turned into a bring out your dead collective mistrust and disgust. It occured to me that the suspicion and paranoia were acting to shove them out as if they were already dead. The mushroom cloud Alice ate turned everything bigger and littler and no ...more
Nicole~
Thundery black clouds had borne down on us from the direction of the city, and the rain from them had fallen in streaks the thickness of a fountain pen.


Ibuse's documentary novel Black Rain is his widely acclaimed masterpiece about the aftermath of Hiroshima, expressed through the diaries of two survivors, Shigematsu and his niece, Yasuko. Shigematsu uses the diaries to try to prove that Yasuko is marriage-worthy, untainted by any poisonous fallout. Ibuse's tale recounts the lives of innocent, or
...more
Bill
I am at a complete loss for what to say about this book It left me horrified. Everybody should read it.
Caro M.
So much pain and despair in this modest, but powerful book. Can you live your life after you survived hell? Is it ok to survive the hell when others didn't?
umberto
Dec 01, 2013 umberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
In brief, this book by Masuji Ibuse based "his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust" (back cover) caused by the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945 at Hiroshima around 8.15 a.m. is worth reading since we could fathom their plight amidst those unlucky fallen Japanese citizens of all ages there; while reading it I could not help praying and hoping that unthinkable man-made catastrophe would never happen again anywhere, it is simply bitterly touching due to the writer's ...more
Safura
Dec 12, 2014 Safura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب عجیبی است. شرح یک فاجعه است، اما زبان کتاب انگار که شبیه خود ژاپنیها مودب و آرام و بی تراژدی است. اما آنقدر عمق فاجعه جنگ و بمباران اتمی هیروشیما زیاد است که شرح خاطرهوار بی پیازداغ ماجراها هم کمکم آدم را با خاک یکسان میکند. نویسنده خواسته یک کتاب ضد جنگ بنویسد و به نظر من موفق شده. ...more
Ardeshir Tayebi
همین اول بگویم که من عاشق ادبیات جنگ هستم و راجع به هیچ چیزی به اندازهی جنگ٬ رمان و داستان و کتاب تاریخی نخواندهام. تا به حال هم فکر میکردم که رمارک در رمان «در غرب خبری نیست» شوکه کنندهترین توصیفات از جبهه و جنگ را دارد و کسی به گرد پایش نمیرسد٬ الان هم نمیخواهم بگویم ماسوجی ایبوسه در رمان «باران سیاه» جبههی جنگ را بهتر از رمارک توصیف کرده. نخیر. چون اصلا «باران سیاه» در جبههی جنگ نمیگذرد و «پیکادون»* درست در جایی میافتد که اصلا جبهه نیست. «بمب اتم در یک لحظه منطقهی آکی را که آفتاب زیبایی دارد٬ ...more
Rose
Aug 22, 2011 Rose rated it really liked it
Black Rain is Masuji Ibuse's classic novel about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the ensuing nuclear fallout. Regarded as one of the best novels ever written about the bombing, Black Rain deals with the tragedy with a delicate frankness.

The story's main characters are Shigematsu Shizuma (a manager at a clothing manufacturing plant), his niece Yasuko, and wife Shigeko. Ibuse employs the method of a "story within a story" to describe the events of the day of and immediately following the bomb
...more
Patricia
May 21, 2009 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
This is a beautiful and harrowing account of the bombing of Hiroshima. Ibuse's overt condemnations of violence are sparing; he lets his relentless catlog of horrors speak for itself. Ibuse's focus on Shigemura and his family focuses and shapes this account of massive suffering as he juxtaposes it with simple daily concerns and hopes. The account of Yasuko's failed marriage plans brings home the tragedy of lives deprived of fundamental hopes and expectations. The book also includes an understated ...more
Antigone
Aug 20, 2010 Antigone rated it really liked it
An assigned book in highschool English, I went out and re-purchased this one for my library in the last few years. I really appreciated the book when I read it. As a child of the nuclear age, I wondered and cared about the effects of a nuclear holocaust.... mostly because I think I was pretty sure I was going to experience one in my lifetime. This book portrays the life lived by civilian Japanese after the bomb and amazingly does so without interjecting blame. By avoiding deliberations or recrim ...more
David
Jul 18, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: big-red-circle
It's about Hiroshima. It's really intense.

"That" moment features heavily at the beginning and end:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSD9sOMkfOo
The ambiguity, the confusion, the baby eels, the rainbows and ... something a bit like hope. It's pretty powerful.

C.P Snow is on the cover of my edition saying that it's "A major work of art," which is nice to see. He probably liked it for the science / literature face /off aspect.
Ali Heidari
Apr 06, 2016 Ali Heidari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«باران سیاه» بر اساس مستندات تاریخی دوران بمباران شیمیایی هیروشیما نوشته شده است. روزنامه یومیوری ژاپن از این اثر به عنوان «شفافترین و عمیقترین تصویری که از فاجعه هیروشیما در ذهن ادبیات نقش بسته» یاد کرده است. ...more
Baylee
Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul mio blog ---> La siepe di more

L’ho già scritto in Letture in corso, ma sento la necessità di ripetermi: La pioggia nera potrebbe essere un distopico o un post apocalittico, di quelli che ti angosciano fino al midollo come i romanzi di McCarthy o di quelli che ti descrivono un mondo che non potrà – non dovrà – mai essere il tuo come i libri di Orwell.

Eppure La pioggia nera è un romanzo capace di scatenare lo stesso orrore e la stessa angoscia, ma purtr
...more
G.G.
A beautifully crafted novel by a novelist who was born in Hiroshima and deploys his intimate knowledge of the layout of the city and the topography of the local area--right down to the train lines--to create this moving portrait of a people in shock, stolidly coping with the cataclysm that has been unleashed on them.

There are touches of dark humor, like this paragraph at the end of chapter 5. The narrator has survived the blast and with enormous difficulty struggled back to his home, which at t
...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
We are fortunate that the early half of the Twentieth Century gave us small glimpses of Hell... We have no excuses... We know the horror.
Black Rain is supposed to be a work of fiction but I find that hard to believe - there are too many things that scream out that this is a first-hand experience, that the things we read about were actually seen: blobs of melted lead on sticky tarmac; corpses lying charred on the road; victims walking through dense smoke, ruined shadowy shapes, stumbling over cha
...more
Faizah Roslaini
1 - Ibuse menulis tanpa sentimen, beliau tidak menyuruh pembaca merasa. Sebaliknya, kita akan merasa sendiri dari deskripsi dan gambaran pada hari 6 Ogos tersebut.

2 - Satu demi satu gambaran tentang mayat-mayat boleh menjadikan pembaca akhirnya lali dengan mayat. Mungkin itu perasaan rakyat Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Mayat-mayat bergelimpangan di sana sini dan melihatnya setiap hari, barangkali mereka sudah tidak ada perasaan.

3 - Sayang sekali translasi DBP ini sangat hambar. Amat sedikit sekali yang
...more
Amene
Mar 14, 2014 Amene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
خیلی خوب بود،یک کمی اول و آغاز خواندنش سخت بود ولی کم کم که به نثرو روایت نویسنده عادت کردم و برایم خوش خوان شد.
من همواره با ادبیات و کل متعلقات فرهنگ آسیای شرق مشکل ارتباطی دارم ولی با این اثر،علی رغم این که جزو آثار تقریبا کلاسیک محسوب می شود ،ارتباط خوبی برقرار کردم.رئالیسم تلخ و گزنده و زبان توصیف گر نویسنده شاید بعضی موارد خسته کننده به نظر برسد ولی لازمه ی این چنین موضوعی استفاده از زبان دقیق و روایت موشکافانه است.هرچند به نظر رمان می آید ولی به نظرمن درحقیقت زندگینامه ی خودنوشتی است که با
...more
Jonathan Forisha
Dec 18, 2009 Jonathan Forisha rated it really liked it
Extremely literary in the way it was written, even though this book was translated, it's clear that Ibuse is a gifted writer. His descriptions are so painfully realistic that I know he knew his subject well - perhaps better than he wished. There's a plethora of information throughout this novel about the bombing of Hiroshima and life in Japan at this time, and while sometimes the descriptions can take the forefront to the plot and the characters, the novel succeeds very well at what it sets out ...more
Xianhai Cao (EVHS)
Feb 12, 2015 Xianhai Cao (EVHS) rated it liked it
Upon finishing the book, I've become more enlightened on the horribly morbid effects of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The author really creates a submersible account of a man's life during such harsh times. Although somewhat slow and unexciting at times, the book was originally based off interviews given by victims of the event. Yet much careful and specific details are given to create many vivid moments to express such events. Overall, Ibuse shares with us an incredible st ...more
Maureen
May 20, 2011 Maureen rated it liked it
Shelves: japanese-7b
Historically, this is a very valuable book. As a story, it's only ok. It's mostly first-person accounts of the Hiroshima bombing, tied together with a storyline about a couple who are looking for a husband for their niece. They can't find anyone to marry her because suitors are concerned about radiation sickness. To fight the rumors and prove that his niece is healthy, the uncle writes a diary of the bombing. The descriptions are pretty graphic and the book is uncomfortable to read, but since th ...more
Tariq Mahmood
Apr 04, 2015 Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing
War paralysis people's power of judgement.

It is mind boggling that the great nation of United States which was seething in anger after the terrorist attack on 9/11 and commanded so much sympathy as a result of the human carnage on its innocent citizens, could be the instigator of not one but two completely needless and vicious atomic bomb attacks on Japanese cities teeming with ordinary civilians. It is clear to me that the results of this horrible act of state terror were deliberately masked b
...more
Nitisha
Nov 28, 2015 Nitisha rated it really liked it
One sees the sights as described by the author, the dead bodies oozing blood and vacant stares of people who lost their kin post the Hiroshima holocaust. Definitely one of those books that jolt you out of your banal, everyday routine of cribbing with your first-world problems.
Raul Bimenyimana
Aug 16, 2016 Raul Bimenyimana rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
This book was (is) incredible!
Given the subject, the atomic bombing, the author had such material to create one of those arm-twisting novels that forced one to take pity on the work of fiction regardless of the hollow one-dimensional characters and the dry plot but Mr. Ibuse who happened to be a native of Hiroshima simply states the chain of events in detail while capturing the times without a shred of self-pitying or condescension.

This means that the book might be less dramatic than the averag
...more
AC
Sep 10, 2011 AC rated it it was ok
I can see I'm not going to finish this. Perhaps in Japanese it would be worthwhile. A sad and genuine tale, though -- to be sure.
poingu
Sometimes the best books leave me speechless. This is one of them.
Bill Purkayastha
Jan 06, 2016 Bill Purkayastha rated it it was amazing
“For several years past, Shigematsu Shizuma, of the village of Kobatake, had been aware of his niece Yasuko as a weight on his mind.” This is because nobody is willing to marry Yasuko, and nobody is willing to marry her because of the persistent rumour that she was in Hiroshima when the Bomb fell on the 6th of August, 1945.

So begins the story of Shigematsu, his wife Shigeko, and their niece and ward Yasuko. In a bid to prove that Yasuko is “clean” and can’t have been affected by the radiation si
...more
Jim Dooley
Nov 09, 2014 Jim Dooley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very difficult book for me to read...not because of the writing style, which was excellent, but because of the subject matter. It details, through narrative and diary format, what it was like to live in and around Hiroshima in the days just before the atomic bomb dropped until about a year afterward. It is a fictional work, but based on authentic resources.

It is literally beyond my comprehension to grasp what it was like to live through that event. And, despite the graphic description
...more
Ryan
Jan 21, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An antiwar novel, Black Rain probes the effects on humans of the atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima on August 1945. It is presented as diary entries of a family (husband, wife, niece) describing their escape from the destroyed city and their encounters with the victims of the bomb. The frame of the story is the niece Yasuko being involved in matchmaking for a promising marriage. Having learned that she was possibly exposed to radiation while fleeing Hiroshima, single men who were consi ...more
Sarah
Sep 26, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
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110156
Masuji Ibuse (井伏 鱒二) was a Japanese novelist.

At Waseda University, Ibuse was greatly influenced by the works of Shakespeare and Basho; he was also an avid reader of French fiction and poetry. Ibuse went as far as to pawn a watch to try to understand the necessities of writers.

In 1918 Ibuse met naturalist writer Iwano Homei. Homei's literature was appealing to Ibuse and would later influence some o
...more
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“Could this be my own face, I wondered. My heart pounded at the idea, and the face in the mirror grew more and more unfamiliar.” 7 likes
“..there was a moment when the living room vanished and I saw a great, mushroom-shaped cloud rising into a blue sky. I saw it quite distinctly.” 0 likes
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