CASE & COVER TEXT ILLUSTRATION

@Okamoto Yoshio's first anthology of nine stories for children. He, along with Shimohata Taku belonged to the same coterie magazine Shin Jidô Bungaku [New Children's Literature]. While Shimohata often wrote school stories, Okamoto focused on working people in stories such as "Fukurô Chimu Haisenki" ["The Record of a Lost Game of the Owl Team"] and "Tomokichi to Imo" ["Tomokichi and the Potato"]. The title piece "Asagao Tsukuri no Eisaku" describes military life. The protagonist is a soldier named Eisaku who tries to grow morning glories in the place where he landed in the face of the enemy, which reflects colonialism in wartime. On the other hand, the author's passive resistance against the situation can be seen in the description of morning glories blooming in the corner of the imposing barracks and his memory of friendship relating to the flower. The seeds of the flower had been given to him by a friend killed in the war.
@Okamoto was influenced by Makimoto Kusurô's theory and he respected Ogawa Mimei and Tsubota Jôji. He tried to write stories in which social awareness and an interesting narrative coexist, which is why his stories are accomplished even though they belong to the genre of realistic stories that were criticized at that time for their flatness. Okamoto's humanism, vivid dialogue, and humorous narration are outstanding. Three stories including "Fukurô Chimu Haisenki" were collected in an anthology titled Fukurô Chimu [The Owl Team] in 1946. Another anthology with the same title was published in 1951 in which the stories were revised.
@Asagao Tsukuri no Eisaku sold well for a newcomer's anthology. A contemporary review pointed out the clearness of the theme. Another review stressed how his fresh sense and affection for children permeated the stories. @