A Boy Called H: A Childhood in Wartime Japan (Japanese, 1997; English, 1999), by Kappa Senoh, is an autobiographical novel. Senoh describes his life growing up in the port city of Kobe, Japan, from the 1930s until a few years after the end of World War II. In fifty short chapters, each focusing on a few incidents, some minor and amusing, others tragic and moving, the novel gives a remarkable picture, through the eyes of a young boy, of a society at war. H describes how life in Kobe gradually changes as the war with China, and later with the United States, drags on. There is an increasingly authoritarian atmosphere, marked by excessive nationalism that no one dares to question openly. H learns there is a difference between official versions of events, as reported in the newspapers, and what is really happening. He also goes through some harrowing experiences. In a massive air raid by American B-29 bombers, his home is destroyed. On another occasion he narrowly escapes being killed by machine gun fire from an American fighter plane. These experiences force H to grow up quickly, and the novel is really a coming-of-age story. As he reaches adolescence, H quarrels with his parents and moves out of the family home. The story ends during the post-war U.S. occupation of Japan, as H trains to be an artist.