Japanese Girl at the Siege of Changchun
How I Survived China’s Wartime Atrocity
An unforgettable memoir of the horrors suffered by a Japanese family trapped in Changchun, China, at the end of WW2.
Over 150,000 innocents died of starvation in Changchun, northeastern China, after the end of WW2 when Mao's army laid siege during the Chinese Civil War. Japanese girl Homare Endo, then age 7, was trapped in Changchun with her family. After nomadic flight from city to city, Homare eventually returned to Japan and a professional career.
This is her eyewitness, at times haunting account of survival at all costs and of unspeakable scenes of barbarity that the Chinese government today will not acknowledge.
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"Endo’s very personal and nuanced narrative of the family’s experiences in Changchun, Yangqi, and Tianjin provide valuable lessons about political ambitions, armed conflict, and societal upheavals, and their effects on ordinary people... Teachers at all levels, as well as high school and college students, will benefit from reading about Endo’s experiences."
“A tour de force.”
“[Homare Endo] may love [her homeland] but says, ‘What happened at Changchun is a stain that remains on the birth of modern China. It is time to speak out about the truth!’ And we agree.”
“An exceptional true-to-life documentary narrative.”
"Reveals the power of official history to write its own story and exclude what troubles that narrative."
"Japanese Girl at the Siege of Changchun is an important work, a reminder of humanity’s boundless potential for compassion or cruelty, once war forces a fight for survival... [It] vividly captures the psychological and physical trauma of surviving war... Endo’s memoir is also a call to action. It’s part of a history that has been deliberately ignored, and deserves to be remembered."
"Endo has carefully studied the historical material as well as her own traumas. Consequently, she has elected to place a heavy emphasis on the little things in life and the fleeting moments of another era, shifting her attention away from animosity and antipathy, and preventing us of becoming overwhelmed with enmity."
"It’s a reminder of how far people will go to survive and how much farther they will go with hope of a better life. It’s a monument to the truth and a memento to the forgotten dead."
"[Japanese Girl at the Siege of Changchun] is a fascinating, harrowing story of resilience and struggle that has been overlooked by most people and historians. It is a story that needs to be told, in order that it will not be repeated."
"A chilling yet inherently fascinating and intensely personal memoir, Japanese Girl at the Siege of Changchun is exceptionally well written, organized and presented."
—Midwest Book Review
About the Author(s)
A longtime editor at Kodansha International and now freelance translator, Michael Brase counts among his translations The Manga Biography of Kenji Miyazawa, The Culture of Japan as a New Global Value, and The Building of Horyu-ji.