Beasts Head for Home

Beasts Head for Home

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"Set in Manchuria in the aftermath of the Asian Pacific War. The central character is Kuki Kyūzō, whose settler parents relocated from Japan to the Manchurian puppet-state as the Japanese empire expanded. Kyūzō's father, a factory technician, dies shortly after he is born. In the course of Japan's defeat and the Soviet Union's occupation of Manchuria, Kyūzō's mother is seriously wounded, forcing him to remain behind with her rather than evacuate with the other Japanese citizens. Her subsequent death leaves Kyūzō alone in the abandoned Japanese settlement, and he is employed as a houseboy by Alexandrov, an officer in the Soviet army. Approximately two years after the end of hostilities, Kyūzō decides to return to Japan. Providing money, a train ticket, and official travel documents, Alexandrov bids Kyūzō farewell. On the train Kyūzō meets Kō, who appears to be a fellow Japanese, much to Kyūzō's relief. The train is attacked, but Kyūzō and Kō manage to escape, fleeing by foot across the harsh Manchurian plains. Kyūzō gradually comes to realize that Kō is in possession of stolen heroin and is being pursued by the Chinese Communists, who are battling the Nationalist forces for control of the mainland. Finally arriving at a city, Kyūzō is betrayed by Kō, who beats him and steals his identity papers and travel documents. Utterly destitute, Kyūzō makes his way to a Japanese repatriation center. The difficulty is that Kyūzō lacks any documents to prove that he is Japanese. Exposure to the elements has left him deeply sunburned, which further casts doubt on his Japanese identity. He wanders the city and meets another Japanese named Okura, who takes an unusual interest in Kyūzō's relationship with Kō"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2017]
ISBN: 9780231177054
0231177054
9780231177047
0231177046
Characteristics: xxvi, 191 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Calichman, Richard - Translator
Alternative Title: Kemonotachi wa kokyō mezasu

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