Black Rain

Ibuse, Masuji

  11 Reviews

Won Japan's highest literary award. A novel based on real diaries and interviews with survivors of Hiroshima. [Small font]

Comments from Groups

We all learnt a lot about the reality of the bombing of Hiroshima. Well written book. One of our better discussions. Rawene 001

Our group thought that this was a wonderful book. We had a thorough and wide ranging discussion including the subject of wars and the use of nuclear weapons. Beautifully written and fascinating cultural study. Governor's Bay 001

Thought provoking. Some members couldn't read this book, but those that did were glad they had. Christchurch 315

This was a powerful book, too hard for some readers to finish but admired by most who had read it. Wellington 156

We were all very pleased we read the book. Generally found it an eye-opener if rather harrowing. Culverden 001

Really enjoyed this book although apprehensive at first about the subject matter but as it was not sentimental it wasn't too emotionally trying. Interesting weave of real diaries into story. Te Awamutu 003



This is a heart rending story of a tragedy on a massive scale. Written with a delicacy that belies the catastrophic destruction and human suffering of atomic warfare.
TAUR 009
Those who read the book loved it - were shocked that we had not heard/thought about the Japanese view and experience of the atom bomb. Beautifully written - so subtle yet vivid. Generated a lively discussion about war etc. Also whether the allies should have dropped the bomb.
NELS 007
Great discussion. Just as well it was written in such a matter of fact style, as otherwise would have been a very difficult read emotionally. Lovely insight into the old way of life in Japan. Thoroughly worth reading.
CHCH 292
Mixed review. Generated mixed responses - some thought very good, others found difficult. Overall it generated some stimulating discussion, heading to consideration of contemporary parallels. The font size and cover were off putting to some.
A grim read, but we all learnt a lot.
CHCH 124
We were glad to have read Black Rain to gain a better understanding, and empathy for, the horrors that those ordinary Japanese people had to suffer from the bomb. The main character was a modest gentleman through whose eyes we experience the aftermath of the bomb. We found the prose dense however, which did make for a slower read.
WARK 003
Only two of us managed to read right through. The unemotional way the horrors were described was disturbing. Interesting insights into the hierarchical nature of Japanese culture.
UPHU 003
Not all members read the book. Those who did felt it was worth persevering with, although not a happy read. Also font style and size were challenging.
CHCH 393
A confronting account of nuclear bombing.
An overall good thought-provoking read. Some members couldn't stomach it, but most agreed it was a worthwhile book. One member said it should be compulsory reading in secondary schools. The world has become blas about these things and should be reminded of the reality.
WINT 001
The group found the descriptions of the injuries very confronting but overall enjoyed the wonderful writing of Maui Ibuse. We had a long, wide-ranging discussion, which included a comparison of the more familiar horror stories of the Holocaust to the different mind set of the Japanese. It is a book everyone should read in a time when nuclear warfare is threatened again by some world leaders. There were a lot of questions in the notes and many of these had 2 or 3 sub questions in them, we chose just to answer what we felt was the key idea and that gave plenty of discussion points.