Black Rain


Word Count: 1245

BLACK RAIN by Masuji
Ibuse The main character in the novel is in some ways like
myself. Mr. Shizuma is a person that is intrigued by many
things and likes to see what reaction people have from any
action. Throughout the novel he feels the need to go to
different parts of the city and surrounding communities in
order to see the effects of the unknown bomb. Mr. Shizuma
was not only interested in what happened to the people of
the community but he was also interested in finding out what
the weapon used was called and made out of. There were
different names given to the bomb throughout the book and
he sums up the names in one paragraph, The name of the
bomb had already undergone a number of changes, from the
initial “new weapon” through “new-type bomb,” “secret
weapon,” “special new-type bomb,” to “special
high-capacity bomb.” That day, I learned for the first time to
call it an “atomic bomb.” (Black Rain 282) The importance
of the name of the bomb may seem ineffectual, but he seems
to dwell on finding out what caused this type of destruction.
Something else that Mr. Shizuma wants to do is remember
every little detail about what happens to everything from
what angle the house was on after the bomb to what his wife
cooked for dinner with the food rationing. He even likes to
write how people cured themselves of radiation sickness and
what the burns and other injuries look and act like. These
things are like myself in the fact that he does not like to
forget what things are like, wants to see first hand what the
effects are, and is very interested in finding information about
new things that he has never seen before. He also likes to
help people greatly such as his constant wanderings looking
for coal for his community. If you were depended on would
you help your community? I think so. The theme that is very
meaningful to me is that war hurts two different parts of a
country. The first is the military, which was not really talked
about, and then there is the civilians. The civilians must ration
food so that the military can eat, and then they must also
suffer because the bomb that was dropped was not meant
for any military base but to destroy and kill a city. The theme
is clear in meaning that it hurts the civilians much more than it
hurts the military and that war is very, very cruel. The people
that were rationing had very little to eat and that amount
became smaller as the war continued. People were forced to
grow carp in small, and search for mussels in ponds in order
to get any type of meat. By the end of the war there were no
mussels left in any of the many streams and there were also
no fish in any of the ponds. The only thing that survived were
the eels who were seen swimming up the river a day before
the surrender was given. This was a sign of rebirth. It only
took a year after the Hiroshima bombing for the surrender
and during that time the government did not help any of the
people that really were hurt by the war, the civilians. It was
strange that the people felt any remorse at all for losing the
war when the government that they were supposed to
believe in left them homeless and without any food.
Innocent, unarmed people killed and mangled by a weapon
that could kill the entire planet. For what purpose was the
bomb dropped? Mr. Shizuma made many remarks about
how if the opposition would have only waited a while longer
they would not have had to drop the bomb because the
country was internally falling apart. This seems to me that the
dropping of the bomb was nothing but a science experiment
to the ‘opposition’. That is the hidden theme to this novel.
The only type of person that could possibly read this book is
a person that is very open minded to other ideas. To most
people from the United States the bomb was necessary in
order to stop the war. In the eyes of the Japanese the bomb
was not needed to stop the war. Which side is true? The
answer is both sides. To have an open mind and to be able
to accept new ideas is crucial when you look at people from
a different type of background and way of thinking. To read
this novel you must also have a pretty solid