| Pîchâshan is a representative piece of children's literature written in the 1960s about wartime, consisting of three parts. This is the first work of Otsukotsu Yoshiko (1929 - 1980). Although there are many stories about the war based on the authors' own experiences, Otsukotsu wrote this based only on secondary materials. |
In Part One, Takashi, a boy signalman, is sent to North China, and is fascinated by Pîchâshan which resembles the mountain in his home country. A boy interpreter, Ien Yui tells Takashi that Japanese military sells heroin to Chinese people. Takashi is shocked with the fact and come to question the deeds of Japanese military. He gradually becomes friends with Ien Yui. When Ien is injured by a military policeman, Takashi decides to send him to his village at the foot of Pîchâshan. In Part Two, Takashi catches up with his troop. He is punished and confined in the guardhouse by a sergeant. He is the very person who dealt the heroin. Takashi sees Chinese people suffer from the heroin addiction. Japanese loses a big battle, and some of the officers die. Takashi survives, and decides to investigate the heroin incident. In Part Three, Takashi joins an advance troop, which takes a position at the foot of Pîchâshan. He meets Ien Yui again, and is informed that Chinese have put a great amount of powder at Pîchâshan, and prepare for an all-out-attack. Takashi hurries back to his troop and tells about the enemy's plan. The day after the explosion, Japan surrenders. Takashi, without knowing it, begins searching Ien Yui to fulfill their promise to climb Pîchâshan together.
The plot of the friendship between Takashi and Ien Yui and the heroin incident by the Japanese military is lively and captures the attention of readers. The various characters are attractive, too. Takashi's positive attitude to survive in spite of worries or troubles may evoke the readers' sympathy. Illustrations by Takidaira Jiro effectively visualize the world of this story.
Pîchâshan first appeared in Kodama [Echo], a coterie magazine, in March 1959, but Otsukotsu suspended it in 1962. In 1964 it was published and in 1965 it received the Special Award of the Welfare Ministry and Child Welfare Council.