| Though Maya no Isshô belongs to a genre called children's literature on war, it does not cry out a slogan against war; rather it tells how war is horrible through the intercourse between a child and a dog. The author, Muku Hatojû (1905 - 1987), is famous for his animal stories for children. His lively description of animals is one of the characteristics of this story.|
Maya is a Kumano dog. When Maya comes to the house, the second son puts her into his clothes, and they became very good friends. Maya also becomes familiar with Pipi the chicken and Peru the cat. Since the Manchurian Incident in 1931, food and clothes for Japanese people became scarce. People in the town say that keeping a dog is a luxury and they gather dogs in an open area and kill them. Maya is brought to the place and hit on the head with a thick stick, and falls down. The second son is severely shocked and is ill in bed with high fever. Maya, however, is not killed at that place. She comes back to the house, and is found dead on the clogs of the second son.
All animals in this story are friendly, while human beings conflict in a war. A calm tone tells of the cruelty of the war. This work shows how dear life is, which is the theme of Muku's complete works.
In 1971 Maya no Isshô received the Akai Tori Literature Award, together with Momo-chan to Akane-chan [Momo-chan and Akane-chan] by Matsutani Miyoko. It also received the Award for Promotion Cultural Material of Child Welfare. It is praised highly for its strong reality and moving plot. It was made into an animation film by Mushi Productions.