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Yasuyuki Kasai

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Member Since: Mar, 2007

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Dragon of the Mangroves Reviewed in BookPleasures
Friday, April 27, 2007  4:43:00 AM

by Yasuyuki Kasai

Yasuyuki Kasai''s novel "Dragon of the Mangroves: Inspired by True Events of World War II" has been reviewed by Dr. John Walsh in BookPleasures.

The Burmese campaign of World War II has not received the attention that it really deserves in most of the western world. It was far from Europe and from North America, it was fought in difficult terrain which made it had to work out quite often how was doing what and where and, frankly, much of it was fought by Indian troops of the British Empire and their exploits have not been deemed either interesting or important enough for much consideration. Consequently, the attention paid either to the British and Empire or the Japanese forces is low and the events not fully established. The Japanese author Yasuyuki Kasai, whose father served his country during the war, has chosen to illustrate one small part of this larger history, which concerns the retreat of the army from the islands along the coast of Burma. The Japanese forces have been overrun and are slowly making their way back to retreat points, burdened with the ashes and memory of their fallen colleagues, which they wish to see restored to their families for a proper and honourable interment. Many have become sick from the tropical diseases that are endemic in that hot, tropical country and all suffer from loss of morale. Some troops, isolated from news from HQ, refuse to believe that they can have been defeated and insist on fighting on against desperate odds. Their air force has been almost completely wiped out and when aircraft are heard in the air, they are nearly always American planes based in the region.

In this case, there is a further and more horrible danger: crocodiles. According to official or at least anecdotal records, many scores of Japanese troops were eaten by the scaly horrors as they tried to swim or wade to safety through the mangroves. It is not clear whether this actually happened, although it is certainly the case that crocodiles represent a real threat in that country. In any case, this is the centre of this short and generally interesting novel, The amount of background detail is quite slight and the translation very American in tone but the prose style is mostly straightforward and propels the narrative at a decent pace. It is possible to believe that these really are Japanese soldiers and their concerns and ways of thinking do ring quite true . This book will be of interest to all aficionados of the Second World War and of the past in general. It would be no surprise if it were one day to appear as a television or cinema presentation, as it appears to be tailor-made for such a transformation.

The above review was contributed by: John Walsh PhD: Professor at Shinawatra International University Bangkok, Thailand.
(April 23, 2007)
Dragon of the Mangroves:

 More News about Yasuyuki Kasai
Dragon of the Mangroves Reviewed in Reader Views - 4/27/2007 4:31:00 AM

Dragon of the Mangroves Reviewed in Armchair General Magazine - 4/9/2007 6:24:00 AM

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