|@@Hoshi no Makiba is a representative full-length wartime story for children by Shôno Eiji (1915-93), which is included in Rironshafs gMasterpieceh series.|
@@Ishizawa Momiichi goes to war and takes care of a horse called Tsukisumi. When Tsukisumi is killed in battle, Momiichi is so shocked that he has an auditory hallucination and loses a part of his memory. After the war, he comes back to the farm where he had been working. Besides, he is good at forging and shoeing horses and making nose rings for cattle. He also makes toys for children. One day, he thinks he hears Tsukisumifs neigh and runs after it. He then meets a group of gypsies. They play various musical instruments and live happily in harmony with nature. Momiichi gets along with them and gradually feels relaxed. These fantastic scenes are described humorously and musically. Descriptions of landscapes are quite picturesque.
@@Shônofs endless hope for peace which forms the basis of Hoshi no Makiba is a result of his adolescence at the time of war. The original idea of the story first appeared in Shônofs short story gAsakaze no Hanashih [The Story of Asakaze] included in his first collection of short stories published in 1955. In this short story, Asakaze the horse comes back from the war and gallops with the protagonist in the air, which is a dream.
@@In Hoshi no Makiba, the fantastic last scene of Momiichi and Tsukisumi running in the starry sky is vividly illustrated by Chô Shinta. The large-sized book with more than 80 illustrations was very attractive when it was published. It was evaluated as a true masterpiece more beautiful than music. Hoshi no Makiba received the Japanese Association of Writers for Children Prize, the Sankei Award for Childrenfs Books & Publications, and Noma Award for Juvenile Literature.
@@Hoshi no Makiba was adapted into a play, ballet, and a musical. Shôno was so enthusiastic that he even wrote the lyrics of the theme song for the musical performed by Takarazuka Revue Company in 1971. It was made into a TV drama in 1981. When it was made into a movie in 1987, Shôno accompanied the production and published a book on visiting the location. Rironsha included Hoshi no Makiba in the gTreasured Booksh series in 1967, Foa Bunko [Childrenfs Library co-published by Rironsha and other publishers] in 1979, and gForest of Masterpiecesh series in 2003.