By Shiba Ryōtarō, Phyllis Birnbaum
Clouds above the Hill is likely one of the best-selling novels ever in Japan, and is now translated into English for the 1st time. An epic portrait of Japan in main issue, it combines photograph army heritage and hugely readable fiction to depict an aspiring kingdom modernizing at breakneck velocity. Best-selling writer Shiba Ryōtarō committed a whole decade of his lifestyles to this awesome blockbuster, which positive aspects Japans rising onto the area level through the early years of the 20 th century.
Volume I describes the expansion of Japan’s fledgling Meiji nation, a huge «character» within the novel. we're additionally brought to our 3 heroes, born into obscurity, the brothers Akiyama Yoshifuru and Akiyama Saneyuki, who will pass directly to play vital roles within the jap military and military, and the poet Masaoka Shiki, who will spend a lot of his brief existence attempting to identify the haiku as a revered poetic form.
Anyone curious as to how the «tiny, emerging country of Japan» was once capable of struggle so fiercely for its survival may still glance no extra. Clouds above the Hill is a thrilling, human portrait of a modernizing country that is going to struggle and thereby stakes its very lifestyles on a determined bid for glory in East Asia.
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Additional info for Clouds above the Hill: A Historical Novel of the Russo-Japanese War, Volume 4
Matsukawa Toshitane liked to mock the army by pronouncing its name in a funny way that sounded like the call of a wild duck, implying that it was an easy prey and therefore an unwanted obstacle. As we’ve discussed, the army had been formed for the political objective of winning territory from Russia following the war. From an operational standpoint, its creation was indeed foolish, since it served no purpose during the decisive conflict between the main forces of the Russian and Japanese armies on the Manchurian plains.
Standby reservists though they were, with over ten thousand men in their division, they were able to push back these small units one by one. On February 21, the First Standby Reserve Division drove a small Russian troop out of the village of Wanliuhe. “Let’s stop and rest here for the day,” Major General Nakai Shigesue, the division’s commander, said to his staff officers. Seeing how exhausted these reservists looked, they all agreed. The action had lasted just three days, but the men looked tired enough to have been in combat for a hundred.
At this stage, Yoshifuru’s brigade was still attached to the Second Army under the command of Oku Yasukata, but simultaneously he was ordered to coordinate and protect the lines of communication of Nogi’s army, which was moving forward from the Japanese left toward the Russian right wing. It meant that his brigade was now in effect assigned to two different units at the same time. ” He was to advance as far forward as the right bank of the Hun River. In addition, he had already received a memorandum from Field Marshal Ōyama that read, “This battle is a contest between almost the entire strength of our Imperial Army and the strongest force the enemy can field in Manchuria.