trauma of war

The Stone Cry Out by Hikaru Okuizumi

Tsuyoshi Manase,, one of the Japanese soldiers who survived during waning days of the WW 11, remembered the horrors of war. He remembered the dimly lit cave where they hid and the massacre of his fellow soldiers, who were dying from starvation and could not fight anymore. He remembered the commanding officer, the captain with a shiny sword, whom he respected and feared, how gently he touched the side of their necks to end their lives.He remembered his fellow soldier, a lance corporal, who gave him a stone and told him,“Even the most ordinary pebble has the history of this heavenly body we call the earth written on it,” and continued to give a lecture on geology while he was dying.

The trauma of war permeated his life in a very subtle way.After the war, as if to honor the corporal, Manase, started collecting stones which turned into an obsession, became a respected geologist and but isolated him from his family.

Then tragedy struck. His older son, who became interested in stones was murdered in the nearby quarry where he went to look for stones for his collection. His wife blamed him for their son’s death and broke apart his family.His other son joined the rebel students revolting against the university and the government.
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The scene at the dimly lit cave came roaring back in his memory as if events were happening again. He remembered the stone and corporal begging to give him one more day, the captain with his sword ordering Manase: “kill him”.

The stones in the cave cried out. The novel, a psychological study, is 138 pages long.

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