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By Kenzaburō Ōe

Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, is across the world acclaimed as some of the most vital and influential post-World struggle II writers, recognized for his strong debts of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and his personal fight to return to phrases with a mentally handicapped son. The Swedish Academy lauded Oe for his "poetic strength [that] creates an imagined global the place lifestyles and delusion condense to shape a disconcerting photograph of the human challenge today." His most well liked booklet, A own Matter is the tale of poultry, a annoyed highbrow in a failing marriage whose Utopian dream is shattered whilst his spouse offers start to a brain-damaged baby.

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8 For some of the inhabitants of Hiroshima - how many exactly cannot of course be established - it proved impossible to reconcile the harmless and friendly behaviour of the 'foreign devils' with the stereotyped image in which they had hitherto believed. One such was Kazuo M. A few weeks after the arrival of the Americans he wrote in his diary: 'White, decent-looking and cleanly dressed Americans now walk about hand in hand with grubby little Japanese girls. Whenever they come to one of the many puddles that dot the pot-holed streets, he will swing his "girl friend" across and then jump over with one long stride.

Even as well-educated a man as Dr Hachiya passed many a sleepless night, tormented by the problem of whether or not he should send his wife, sick as she was, to her parents' house, far from Hiroshima. As early as September the Japanese commander of the Chugoku Region, whom the Allied authorities had temporarily confirmed in office, had issued a statement which had been posted up and printed in the newspapers. In the usual pompous official jargon, this warning of perils to come ran as follows: 'Subject, female attire.

Instead he began to fire his revolver wildly out of the window. This conversation was taking place in the Administration Building of Saijo Agricultural College, most of which had been requisitioned by the army. Beneath the office in which the two men stood lay the open-air gymnasium. And when Hamai attempted to see what it was the excited soldier was firing at, he saw between the parallel bars and other gymnastic equipment huge piles of coats, trousers, greatcoats. It was into these that the lieutenant went on firing until he was out of ammunition.

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