Black Rain -- Bookring

Registered by totoroandmei of Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on 11/12/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Saturday, November 12, 2005
"Black Rain is centered around the story of a young woman who was caught in the radioactive "black rain" that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. Ibuse bases his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust; the result is a book that is free from sentimentality yet manages to reveal the magnitude of the human suffering caused by the atom bomb. The life of Yasuko, on whom the black rain fell, is changed forever by periodic bouts of radiation sickness and the suspicion that her future children, too, may be affected.
Ibuse tempers the horror of his subject with the gentle humor for which he is famous. His sensitivity to the complex web of emotions in a traditional community torn asunder by this historical event has made Black Rain one of the most acclaimed treatments of the Hiroshima story."

Journal Entry 2 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Saturday, January 28, 2006
Sorry for the delay! I hope to send the book out next week. Please journal when you receive it and try to finish the book in a month. Happy reading!

Shipping List

Lizziem -- Australia
Erishkigal -- US
SKingList -- US
Apikoros -- US
Buffra -- US
CatharinaL -- Finland
Semming -- Finland
Wollie -- Netherlands
Wubbaducky -- UK
Drusillamac -- UK
DianeO -- UK
LeishaCamden - Norway
Chaichan -- US
Mamikaem -- US (asked to be moved to the bottom of the list 9/14)
cm21 -- Canada
bluefenix211 -- Brunei
Vikki - Japan
totoroandmei -- Japan

Released 14 yrs ago (5/16/2006 UTC) at controlled release in Postal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Off to Australia!

Journal Entry 4 by LizzieM from Bowral, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
This arrived last friday, and has been living in my handbag ever since - i just haven;t been able to put it down! A bit of a slow start, but then the story just grabs hold of you. This book really made me think about how important a peaceful world is. To hear these individual stories brings home the reality of the Hiroshima bombing and made me realise there are still people out there today suffering from it.

Posting on to Erishkigal as soon as an address comes through.

thanks totoroandmei !

Journal Entry 5 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Thursday, June 08, 2006
this much-anticipated book has arrived! Putting down my just-started non-ring book to start this immediately.

Journal Entry 6 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Saturday, June 24, 2006
Read this heart-rending book in about three days....then procrastinated the journal as I just don't know what to say.

This book is beautiful.. It is horrifying. It makes my heart ache that we humans can inflict such incredible suffering on one another. That we continue to torture, maim, and murder one another. And I wonder how long before some fool uses atomics again.

Black Rain is exquisitely written and translated. There is a haunting beauty that comes through, and gentle smiles....awe at the stoicism of the people whose lives we share for these moments....

Thank you totoroandmei for sharing this book. It's one I doubt I'd have ever encountered without BC.

I pm'd Skinglist right away, and again when I returned from a rafting trip. As soon as I have an address, Black Rain will move on.

Journal Entry 7 by SKingList from New York City, New York USA on Thursday, July 06, 2006
Received today, thanks Erishkigal! Love the postcard, never gotten one from Utah before. I giggle at this book leaving Japan and catching up with me in the States :) I also ♥ the bookring label on the spine. Totoroandmei, is it your label? Can you email me the file if it is? I'd love to use it.

I've got one book I'm reading and then I'll start this. Thanks all!

Journal Entry 8 by SKingList from New York City, New York USA on Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I've given up. Well perhaps given up isn't exactly right because I haven't opened it but I've given up on the idea that I might be able to read this in a reasonable amount of time. Have PM'ed apikoros for an address and will send it on in the next week or so.

Thanks all for sharing.

ETA: For those who look at ring 'holding time' to judge whether someone should be included, I have a good reason for having stalled this one.

Journal Entry 9 by SKingList at bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, August 05, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (8/5/2006 UTC) at bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Off to apikoros via media mail today.

Journal Entry 10 by Apikoros from Oyster Bay, New York USA on Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Just got it in the mail today! I am bumping The Inheritor's by William Golding down one on the TBR pile and popping this guy in. Very fitting as Sunday was Hiroshima Day.

Journal Entry 11 by Apikoros from Oyster Bay, New York USA on Monday, August 14, 2006
I need to gather my thoughts before I make a real post, but I wanted to post an say I finished it and emailed Mamikaem for her addy.


Journal Entry 12 by CatharinaL from Pirkkala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, September 28, 2006
The book just arrived in the morning mail! I'll start reading asap.

Journal Entry 13 by CatharinaL from Pirkkala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Sunday, October 08, 2006
All of this did ring very true, authentic, as if actually being there in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I've read quite a few books on the tragedy, but none of them have been quite as captivating and vivid as Black Rain. I appreciate the fact that the book didn't gorge on gory details, but neither did it spare the reader of any of the horror. Instead, everything was described in an utterly laconic, stoic, truly human way--which is precisely why the account is so stabbingly effective.

However, I never developed a liking for the collage of details of the bombing and its aftermath repeated over and over again. But then again, the repetitive structure only emphasizes the fact that the bombing and the suffering itself are larger-than-life experiences and that any literary 'plot' besides just that would seem out of place, naïve, and a petty little concern.

I remember we read an excerpt of Black Rain in my high-school History class. It made a lasting impression, and I've been wanting to read the book ever since.

I'll contact the next reader asap and pass the book on. It truly deserves to be read and remembered.


[27 Oct] I gave the book to Rakuna to take with her to Helsinki this weekend. I expect it to reach Semming early next week.

Journal Entry 14 by Semming from Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi / Mellersta Finland Finland on Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The book is here with me, thank you!

Journal Entry 15 by Semming from Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi / Mellersta Finland Finland on Monday, November 27, 2006
I've tried hard with this one, but for some reason just can't get into it. I've read approx. one third, but really dislike the translation and the font size is a bit too small for me, which is sad because the story is interesting and I did want to finish it. As it is, I'll send the book to the next participant and will most likely give the book a try at some other point of my life.

[29.11.] The book will be mailed today to Wollie.

Journal Entry 16 by wollie on Friday, December 22, 2006
I've received this one last week, many thanks Semming! My christmas holiday just started, so I'm hoping to read this one in the next week or two, but first i really have to finish The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman. Addictive like chocolate..

Journal Entry 17 by wollie on Saturday, January 13, 2007
Took me a bit longer to finish this one than i anticipated. I read it mainly on my train commute to and from work. This is really one of those books i would not have chosen to read without some prompting from bookcrossers. I was afraid it would be nothing but gruelling horrors. Actually, i really appreciated the balanced, factual way Ibuse describes the suffering of the bombing victims. I really appreciated the fish breeding bits too, as they seemed to offer some consolation to the main character, and also to me as a reader. I was impressed by this book, and thanks totoandmei for sharing!

Journal Entry 18 by wubbaducky from not specified, not specified not specified on Sunday, January 28, 2007
Arrived safe and sound - will get cracking on it... Many thanks!

Journal Entry 19 by wubbaducky from not specified, not specified not specified on Thursday, March 08, 2007
I liked it although it took me a while to get into it! Thank you so much for sharing this book. I posted it on to Drusillamac today!

Journal Entry 20 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, March 12, 2007
This was a welcome surprise to come home to after spending a long weekend in Oxford. Thanks to totoroandmei and Wubbaducky for sharing. I have another book in front of this so I'll get to it shortly.

Journal Entry 21 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, April 22, 2007
Well, what else can I add to this book's journal? Initially I wanted to give up because I found the first couple of chapters quite dry and boring. But I am glad I kept going. In Europe I feel many people forget the horrors inflicted on Japanese civilians during WWII.

On the back of the book it says that Ibuse based most of his writing on other people's accounts. This is obvious when other people are brought into the story such as the soldier's tale of suffering from radiation sickness. The writing is graphic, but not unnecessarily so, and I had to stop reading this book at night because of the nightmares it was giving me. At the same time you admire the workers and managers at the factory who are trying to keep things going as normal after the bombing. After studying Japanese history last year, it made me think this was a 'typical' Japanese attitude.

I have PMed DianeO for her address. Again, thanks to totoroandmei for sharing this thought provoking book.

Journal Entry 22 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 15, 2007
This is being posted off to LeishaCamden tomorrow. I PMed DianeO and posted some ISOs which have had no response.

Journal Entry 23 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Monday, May 21, 2007
This arrived in the mail from Scotland today. It seems like a fascinating read, I'm really looking forward to reading it, although dreading it a bit too as I'm sure it will be very sad and depressing. But that is only a reflection of reality in this case, I'm sure.

Thank you totoroandmei for letting me be part of this bookring ... and thank you Drusillamac for the postcard! :-)

Journal Entry 24 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, May 27, 2007
I started reading this book on Thursday, May 24th. So far I've only read about 60 pages, but already I'm very intrigued by it; it's a fascinating subject, very well written and not least very well translated. The stories in the book so far, about this elderly couple and their niece - innocent people with no interest in the war other than just living their lives - are very gripping and moving.

More later ... :-)

Journal Entry 25 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Friday, June 22, 2007
I finished this book on Monday, June 18th. Sorry to be a little slow in journaling it; I hardly know what to write. Maybe I will have to update this JE a little eventually.

Needless to say it’s praise I would be adding. :-) This is an absolutely lovely book – both lovely and gruesome - which I think everyone should read. It brings home the horrors of war in an extremely poignant way. I was really moved by the fact that no one in Hiroshima knew what kind of bomb it was. It took many days before they found out that it was the dreaded A-bomb. I’ve been asking myself, was that good or bad? Bad in a way, since they didn’t know what they were dealing with, so couldn’t know what they should do. But in another way it’s a good thing – I mean, what could they do? The nuclear bomb is almost the only weapon in the world that is so dreadful that there is absolutely no defense that can be put up against it. Which is why no one should ever be allowed to use it again.

What has always impressed me is that this dreadful event has given rise, in Japan, not to resentment, bitterness and anger, but instead to a powerful peace movement. Certain other nations – no need to name names – if struck by an enemy in this way, would probably be more moved towards bloodlust and vengeance than a call for universal peace. :-( This book in a way makes the fact of the peace movement make a lot of sense to me. After all – what can you do? I was so moved by the depictions of the lives of these people. After being struck by such a terrible disaster, life just went on. And I think that’s probably how it is. Life has to go on. Not just in the face of disaster, but in the face of … anything. Life must go on. What else can we do?

I’ll try to write more later. For now, I’ve gotten chaichan’s address from her so will be sending the book off as soon as I can manage it. Thank you totoroandmei for sharing, and thanks to everyone else for keeping the ring moving till I got a chance to experience this wonderful novel.

Released 12 yrs ago (6/24/2007 UTC) at Sent surface mail to the next on the list in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



I sent this off in the mail today to chaichan in NYC. Thanks again everyone. Here's wishing the book a safe journey across the Atlantic. :-)

Journal Entry 27 by chaichan from Brooklyn, New York USA on Sunday, July 22, 2007
Thank you Leisha, for the book and the postcard! They arrived safely across the Atlantic this weekend. I'll start reading the book in a week and a day, as soon as my summer courses are finished.

Journal Entry 28 by chaichan from Brooklyn, New York USA on Friday, August 10, 2007
Like some of the other journalers, it did take me a while to get into the flow of the book. Once I got caught up in the story, I had trouble putting it down, although there were a few times that the descriptions of suffering were so intense that I had to stop reading.

It didn't feel like a novel. It felt like reading a survivor's personal history.

Thank you for including me in the bookring, totoroandmei. I'll PM the next person.

Journal Entry 29 by Mamikaem from Maryland Heights, Missouri USA on Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Received this today. Thanks to all before me who passed this along! I have two bookrings in front of this, but will get to it as soon as I can.

UPDATE: 09/25/07 - starting this today.

UPDATE: 11/17/07 - I had a really hard time getting into this. Mailed this to cm21 today.

Journal Entry 30 by cm21 from Cobourg, Ontario Canada on Friday, November 30, 2007
Just arrived in the mail today. Very pleasant surprise as I had forgotten it was coming. Thanks so much Mamikaem and totoroandmei! This will provide some more procrastination material as finals are fast approaching and I'm still in denial. :)

Journal Entry 31 by cm21 from Cobourg, Ontario Canada on Friday, March 07, 2008
Finally got this book sent off to Vikki. I tried to contact the BCer on the list above her but never received a reply. So sorry it took so long!

As much as I tried I could never really get into this book and didn't finish it. I did find it interesting, however I didn't have the necessary time to completely immerse myself in it and so found it really hard to continue reading.

Thanks so much to everyone in the bookring and esp. to totoroandmei and again apologies for the very long time I had it.

Journal Entry 32 by Vikki from Aomori / 青森市, Aomori-ken Japan on Sunday, March 16, 2008
Arrived today. Will start it soon. Thanks, Vikki

Journal Entry 33 by Vikki from Aomori / 青森市, Aomori-ken Japan on Sunday, April 13, 2008
Quite a good read once you get into it. Totoroandmei, do you want it sent back to you?

Journal Entry 34 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Friday, April 25, 2008
Thanks everyone for participating in this ring. The book has arrived back "home" and will hopefully be traveling soon.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.