| Tenshi de Daichi wa Ippaida is the first novel of Gotô Ryûji (1943 -). It represents the realistic children's literature in the late 1960s and 1970s. It was an Honor Book of Kôdansha Award of Children's Literature for Newcomers.|
Moritani Saburô, or Sabu, lives with his parents, his grandmother, and four other siblings. They are farmers - growing vegetables - in Hokkaido. Sabu and his younger sister Maki help their busy parents after school. When Sabu becomes a sixth grader, a new teacher Kiyama Kiriko comes to his school. He and his friends, Jikku and Roku, work much mischief on their teacher, but later he is attracted by her personality. One day, the children help a young man who has tried to kill himself at a river. The Moritani family welcome him at their house. When he begins to recover, he disappears leaving a letter with words of gratitude.
The lively tone is the most outstanding characteristics of this story. Gotô is from Hokkaido and he seems to have chosen boys' colloquial language as the way to express what he had in mind as a college student in Tokyo. The child characters who grow up through actual experience are attractive, too. In 1970, a sequel, Daichi no Fuyu no Nakamatachi [The Fellows on the Land in Winter], was published. In 1978, a pocket book edition with some addenda in the text was published from Kôdansha.