Available for the first time in English, Clouds above the Hill is an epic portrait of Japan in crisis. It combines graphic military history and highly readable fiction to depict an aspiring nation modernising at breakneck speed. Bestselling author Shiba Ryotaro dedicated an entire decade of his life to this blockbuster, which portrays Japan's emergence onto the world stage by the beginning of the 20th century. This four volume epic centres on the careers of two ambitious brothers who work their way up from a rural backwater to positions of eminence in the new post-1868 Meiji State. The Akiyama brothers are determined to build a Japanese military capable of holding its own in an unstable region and the Russo-Japanese War becomes the central stage for their involvement in the frenzied modernisation and ascendancy of Japan in the region and subsequently, the world. Volume one describes the growth of Japan's fledgling Meiji state, a major 'character' in the novel.
We are also introduced to our three heroes, born into obscurity, the brothers Akiyama Yoshifuru and Akiyama Saneyuki who will go on to play important roles in the Japanese army and navy, and the poet Masaoka Shiki, who will spend much of his short life trying to establish the haiku as a respected poetic form.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd