|@@This is a collection of short stories by Nagasaki Gennosuke (1924-
). It consists of three wartime stories for children based on his military
life: gHattsuanh [A Man called Hattsuan], gHaeh [A Fly], and gHato
no Fueh [Pigeon Whistle]. According to the author, fools in the stories
reflect himself struggling in the war. It is an important collection dealing
with more than humanism.|
@@gHato no Fueh is a story about a second-class private Ueda who pretends to be a gfool.h Ueda is assigned to Northern China. He does not mind being hit by superior private Miyata or being made fun of by his colleagues. He thinks that if he is a fool, he will not be assigned to a dangerous mission. His plan works well, and he is even favored by his superiors. The only one who is hard on him is Miyata, who has recently lost his friend in the war. Ueda happens to learn that Miyata is really a Korean and that his friend has not been killed in the war but has surrendered. Ueda is forbidden to say anything about it by his superior. Miyatafs only friend is a Chinese boy Liang. They tame a pigeon and Miyata learns how to make the pigeon whistle for Liang. Fighting with Chinese troops went on after the surrender of Japan. When Miyata finds out that Ueda was pretending to be a fool, Ueda discloses the secret forbidden by his superior. Shocked, Miyata surrenders with Liang in the last battle and is shot dead by his own troops. Meanwhile, Ueda, now a prisoner of war, pretends to be a fool again and succeeds to get on a cart on their way marching home. Marching in severe cold should have warmed him, but sitting on a cart has made him colder and colder. He becomes seriously ill and dies before arriving in Japan. In his last moment, he hears Miyatafs pigeon whistle.
@@Sarcastically, Uedafs selfish acts end up ruining him, which is not described as a simple retribution. Miyatafs way of living, and conflicts of Ueda who is being reduced to a real gfool,h are depicted minutely. They try to survive by fair means or foul. Such madness on the battlefield is told with humor in this story. Two other stories are told in the same way.
@@Fukuda Shôsukefs powerful illustrations are very effective. Kodansha published a pocket edition which was read widely. Although there are some conflicts with todayfs viewpoints, Ahô no Hoshi can be considered as Nagasakifs representative work.