|@@Tobetara Honko is a full-length story by Yamanaka Hisashi (1931- ) filled with criticism against grown-ups. Seen through a childfs eyes, it severely accuses authority and deceptive order, which is archetypical of modern childrenfs literature.|
@@The protagonist is a fifth-grade boy Yoshikawa Kazuo. Kazuofs father has a big win on a horse race, which raises a disturbance in the poor family. The father is soaked in alcohol and the mother becomes a miser. Kazuo runs away from home when he mentioned his motherfs secret savings account to her and was badly hit by her. He meets an old woman on a train who seems to be senile, because she insists that he is Yamada Kazuo, her acquaintance. Kazuo goes with her. Later, it turns out that she was not dull-witted, but brought Kazuo home just to spite her son and his wife. Deceived, Kazuo takes revenge on her and goes home to find that no one is there. He hears that his parents have had a quarrel and his mother is in the hospital, seriously injured. Kazuo rushes to the hospital, but is told to go to his fatherfs place. Kazuo takes sleeping pills at a department store expecting that some charitable person might help him. He is sent to the hospital. Hearing this news, a couple comes to see him wondering if he might be their son Takahashi Kazuo, who was lost in the war. They adopt Kazuo even though they know he is not their son. They will try and if it goes well, they will be a real family just like gTobetara Honko,h a verse in a childrenfs play song which means gthis is a trial, and if I succeed, please make it real.h
@@Yamanakafs wartime childhood vow that he would never be cheated by grown-ups is clearly reflected in the description of Kazuo who realizes the foolishness and deception of grown-ups. A story in which parents are described so critically is very rare. Many incidents and the unexpected destiny of the protagonist indicate Yamanakafs quality as a story-teller. In 1960, Yamanaka published two other books for children: Akage no Pochi [Pochi, the Red-Haired Dog] and Samurai no Ko [Samuraifs Child].
@@Contemporary reviewers evaluated the power of Tobetara Honko to attract childrenfs interest. Rironsha published a larger-sized gFantasy Bookh Series version in 1970, and a gTreasured Masterpieceh version in 1977. It was also made into a radio drama.