Clint Eastwood was so moved by this account of the Japanese defence of Iwo Jima that he ended up making two films in 2006. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the story of the US Marines who raised the flag on the island in what became the iconic photograph of the war with Japan. His other film, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA is based on Kumiko Kakehashi's heart-rending story, EVEN THE GODS WOULD WEEP. Her account is based on the letters written home by the doomed soldiers on the island, mostly family men, conscripted late in the war. At the heart of the story is the maverick general Kuriyabashi, devoted family man, humanitarian, and brilliant commander and the first man on the island to know they were all going to die. Unlike most Japanese officers, he had travelled widely, spent time in Europe and the USA, and was under no illusions as to the ultimate end. He fought and died to delay the Americans for as long as he could. He knew that once the island fell, it would be used as an airbase by US bombers to strike at Tokyo. EVEN THE GODS WOULD WEEP reveals a very different Japanese army from the popular image of Hollywood movies.
It is an incredibly moving portrayal of men determined to resist to the last breathe, despite their profound opposition to the regime that led them into war.
Kumiko Kakehashi was born in 1961. After graduating from Hokkaido University, she worked as a freelance writer and editor. She is a regular contributor to AERA magazine. This is her first book.