Synopses & Reviews
At the outset of this powerful story we find a Doctor Suguro in a backwater of modern-day Tokyo practicing expert medicine in a dingy office. He is haunted by his past experience and it is that past which the novel unfolds.
"The vivisection of captured U. S. personnel by Japanese doctors is hardly an appetizing subject for a novel, even though the vivisection is done 'in the interests of research,' a formula which excuses almost anything done these days in American graduate schools. But it is the reaction of one Japanese intern that interests Shusaku Endo, who treats his theme with a delicacy that sets this book above its gruesome details. Unfortunately, indifferent proofreading and awkward translation—can a person, for instance, be said to have 'stood sluggishly'?—set this work below the standards found in the recent excellent translation of Endo's Silence." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
The Sea and Poison was the first Japanese book to confront the problem of individual responsibility in wartime, painting a searing picture of the human race s capacity for inhumanity. At the outset of this powerful story we find a Doctor Suguro in a backwater of modern-day Tokyo practicing expert medicine in a dingy office. He is haunted by his past experience and it is that past which the novel unfolds. During the war Dr. Suguro serves his internship in a hospital where the senior staff is more interested in personal career-building than in healing. He is induced to assist in a horrifying vivisection of a POW. "What is it that gets you," one of his colleagues asks. "Killing that prisoner? The conscience of man, is that it?" "