The novel, Black Rain, is a first hand recall of the events of a man's life during the bombing of Hiroshima. The main character, Shigematsu Shizuma, is concerned that his niece, Yasuko, will be unable to marry because prospective husbands are scared off due to the fact that she was near the bombing and that her or her children will suffer the effects of this radiation sickness that had already affected so many. In his quest to find a husband for his niece he decides to rewrite his journal of the bombing of Hiroshima. It is his copying of this journal that takes the reader though the treacherous events of the bombing and the effects on his and others' lives. Mr. Shizuma writes of every detail of the bombing. He describes the bombs blinding white light and the mushroom cloud that followed and he also describes the people. He tells of the strange burns on people's bodies. He tells of family's journey back into the city of Hiroshima to try to find lost loved ones. And he tells of the survivors' struggles as well, from the radiation sickness to the small rations of rice and beans distributed to the people. He also seems very inquisitive about what kind of bomb fell on the city. The journal ends with the surrender of Japan and the book ends with his niece becoming very ill with the radiation sickness.
This novel is like many other Japanese stories in that it is not a very happy book. There is no happy ending and the novel is filled with many gruesome descriptions of corpses much like the story Rashomon. The book gives the reader a front seat view into the lives of the people of Hiroshima. It also, like the story In a Grove, gives multiple first hand views of the bombing itself. You are given a visual picture as Mr. Shizuma describes in detail the destroyed city and the people of Hiroshima as they put up signs on their yard to mark where their house once sat. They described how the families of the victims had no real way of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document