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Historical fiction set around First Sino-Japanese or Russo-Japanese wars?

Hama

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I've been wanting to pick up a new novel for some casual reading, and as I'm currently studying the real history around the First Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars I was curious if anyone knows whether there's been any good historical fiction (or novels based on stories) from around either of these events?

It'd be better for me if it was something in English or at least with an English translation, but if there's something really good that's only in Japanese I can always make a note of it and save it for the future when my Japanese reading ability improves. :)
 
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Don't know about the book, but NHK's special drama based on the book was so awesome, i didn't hesitate to rewatch all of it's 13 episodes for a second time. And yes, it covers both the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War. Both warfare and political aspects are covered in earnest, as well as a glimpse of everyday life of the period.

Although the Siege of Port Arthur and Battle of 203 Meter Hill are depicted in more detail in movie 203 Kochi.
But then again, the thread is about novels, not cinematography.
 

Lothor

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Don't know about the book, but NHK's special drama based on the book was so awesome, i didn't hesitate to rewatch all of it's 13 episodes for a second time. And yes, it covers both the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War. Both warfare and political aspects are covered in earnest, as well as a glimpse of everyday life of the period.

Although the Siege of Port Arthur and Battle of 203 Meter Hill are depicted in more detail in movie 203 Kochi.
But then again, the thread is about novels, not cinematography.

For serious academic study, NHK dramas should be treated with a certain amount of scepticism. I imagine that, like their news programmes, they are prone to airbrushing anything that may make Japanese viewers or their paymasters uncomfortable.
For example, one of the points that really came across in the Morio Kita book I recommended was just how prevalent images of Emperor Hirohito were in prewar Japan, which were in all public buildings, and the reverence with which everyone was expected to treat the images. Shortly after reading the book, I watched one of NHK's 'authentic' historical dramas set in the same period. Not a single image of the emperor!
 

Toritoribe

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I, too, read 楡家の人びと (in Japanese, of course), but I don't think the Russo-Japanese War is the main part of the novel. Or more likely, it's just mentioned a bit, if my memory is correct, since the novel is about their family history. What left an impression on me was 米国おじさん, a change of his elder brother's wife, or a sumo wrestler's words that he actually wanted to become a doctor.

Here's another novel about an episode of the emperor's image. I knew this short novel from Mike-san't previous post.
久米正雄 父の死
 

Lothor

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I, too, read 楡家の人びと (in Japanese, of course), but I don't think the Russo-Japanese War is the main part of the novel. Or more likely, it's just mentioned a bit, if my memory is correct, since the novel is about their family history. What left an impression on me was 米国おじさん, a change of his elder brother's wife, or a sumo wrestler's words that he actually wanted to become a doctor.

Here's another novel about an episode of the emperor's image. I knew this short novel from Mike-san't previous post.
久米正雄 父の死
You're right, the book was set between the two world wars. The hopeless sumo wrestler also left an impression on me! I was impressed with just how vividly the book describes interwar Japan and the gradual breakdown of society during World War 2 in passing while telling the story of the family.
 

Mike Cash

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For serious academic study, NHK dramas should be treated with a certain amount of scepticism.

I was following one of the previous NHK serial dramas, the one based on the life of the woman who translated Anne of Green Gables, largely because my wife and daughter were following it. I decided to get the book the series was based on and was astonished by how loose and deceptively meaningless the term "based on" can be.

I expect a certain amount of deviations from historical reality, but the liberties that NHK take turned me off from watching any of their subsequent series "based on" historical characters. The most troubling part is that there are many who will only learn that "history" from this single source and will go away thinking it was largely faithful to fact.
 

Mike Cash

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Here's another novel about an episode of the emperor's image. I knew this short novel from Mike-san't previous post.
久米正雄 父の死

I finished translating that some time ago. I really need to get around to doing a final edit and then learn how to put it out as an e-book.

On a side note, I visited Kume's home last fall. It has been relocated from Kamakura to Koriyama and is part of a center dedicated to Koriyama's role in Japanese literature.

こおりやま文学の森資料館
 

Shutainzu

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I expect a certain amount of deviations from historical reality, but the liberties that NHK take turned me off from watching any of their subsequent series "based on" historical characters. The most troubling part is that there are many who will only learn that "history" from this single source and will go away thinking it was largely faithful to fact.

My lecturer for Japanese history pointed out the same thing, he pretty much said the NHK shows are an interesting watch but using them as a basis for understanding certain periods of Japanese history is useless. We watched one of their shows about Li Naosuke and his assassination I believe and then done some required reading which pretty much made the show look baseless.
 
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