Hiroshima Bugi is an ingenious kabuki novel that begins in the ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome, a new Rashomon Gate. Ronin Browne, the humane peace contender, is the hafu orphan son of Okichi, a Japanese boogie-woogie dancer, and Nightbreaker, an Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation who served as an interpreter for General Douglas MacArthur during the first year of the American occupation in Japan. Ronin draws on samurai and native traditions to confront the moral burdens and passive notions of nuclear peace celebrated at the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. He creates a new calendar that starts with the first use of atomic weapons, Atomu One. Ronin accosts the spirits of the war dead at Yasukuni Jinga. He then marches into the national shrine and shouts to Tojo Hideki and other war criminals to come out and face the spirits of thousands of devoted children who were sacrificed at Hiroshima. In Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57 acclaimed Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor has created a dynamic meditation on nuclear devastation and our inability to grasp fully its presence or its legacy
Gerald Vizenor is a professor of American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the American Book Award winner Griever: An American Monkey King in China and Wordarrows: Native States of Literary Sovereignty (Nebraska 2003).