Masuji Ibuse The Times Literary Supplement - Essay

The Times Literary Supplement

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

One might suppose that the Hiroshima holocaust had been so well documented … that nothing new could be said. But Masuji Ibuse is not a mere producer of documentary. He is a novelist, and a considerable one; and in Black Rain he has achieved, from eyewitness accounts and journals and with his own skilful gifts of construction and vivid sympathy, one of the finest postwar Japanese novels we have seen in this country.

The outer framework of the book is the determination of the elderly Shigematsu to prove that his niece and ward, Yasuko, escaped—contrary to rumour—the after-effects of the atomic bomb, its "black rain" and radiation disease. If he is unsuccessful, her chances of marrying will...

(The entire section is 446 words.)