| Yanagi no Wata Tobu Kuni is an autobiographical novel of Akagi Yoshiko (1927 - 1988), who started her career as an author for children with this book. She lived with her brother in Manchuria during World War II and witnessed the Japanese army's aggression in China. After the war, she returned to Japan and wrote this story while working as a journalist. This is a forerunning work dealing with what Japan did in China before and during World War II.|
The protagonist, Yoriko, has lost her parents and goes to her brother in Manchuria. Her brother runs a big photo studio. She lives freely and happily under the protection of her brother and his wife. However, the war and the illness of her sister-in-law cast shadow on her life. As it was during the war, Yuriko faces the different circumstances of Japanese and that of Chinese. She encourages troubled people around her, and matures through relationships with a Chinese girl in the neighborhood, her school friends, teachers, Chinese people protesting Japanese occupation.
Later Yanagi no Wata Tobu Kuni became the first part of Futatsu no Kuni no Monogatari [A Tale of Two Nations]. It was rewritten at several points and the wretchedness of war is emphasized
Akagi kept telling her readers about the great fault by Japan in China during wartime. At the same time she described strong people under severe circumstances, based on her own experience and historical facts.