Translated from: Russian
Authors: Katayama, Shozo
Translated by: Greblikienė
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 1962
Publisher: Valstybinė grožinės literatūros leidykla
This book is about Japan after the World War II. It mentions a lot of important historical events, such as : Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb tragedy, American nuclear testings in Bikini island. Also, this book mentions information about Fukurju-maru crew’s accident, Okinawa’s occupation.
Also, this book speaks about what is crucial for a Japanese person. One of the most important fact in Japan is to have a good education and graduate a well-known university. Because if not “you will not be able to have a good life”. Topic about suicides and children-selling because of poverty and unemployment is also mentioned in this book.
This book has a lot of characters. However, the most important role in this book is given to a pacifist doctor Nagasaki who tries to unite the Japanese to vote against the armed forces establishment in Japan. His dream is peace with no war in Japan without any army and armed forces despite the fact, that for that dream he needs to leave his personal life away. On his way to succeeding his dream he faces people with different point of view about peace and war. It seems like Nagasaki is trying to fight against a part of society that is indifferent to death. Also Nagasaki’s children tries to help him achieve his goal, but on their way they face many difficulties.
This book shows complicated relationship between Japan and Korea. It is very well illustrated in one of the school scenes when after one of the student’s traditional Korean dance performance called “Hero” it becomes forbidden to perform any Korean traditional dances or songs. Even after Korea gains it’s independence in Japan it is looked down on Koreans and they are not welcomed by majority of Japanese people. So majority doesn’t understand Nagasaki’s opinion that Japan and Korea should keep close relationship in order to succeed.
However, this book shows that children are the creators of the future. They choose their friends not based by where their from. In the book japanese children enjoy their friends Koreans company even though they are forced to hide it from their parents.
Also this book has a lot of descriptions of nature about Asama’s, Chanareyama’s mountains, plant “chagi”. We can also find some folklore and traditional dance elements mentioned in this book.
“Sunrise children” – is a story about happiness, that comes when you can for the sake of others and your own country put your personal life aside.