| Takagi Toshiko (1932- ) lost her mother and sister in the March 1945
air raid in Tokyo and her father in the August 1945 air raid in Kanagawa.
She wrote a story of her war experience and published it privately for
the repose of the souls of her three family members, which attracted the
attention of publisher Kinnohoshisha. It was revised and published as Garasu no Usagi.|
Toshiko, twelve years old, has been evacuated when her mother and sister are lost in the Tokyo air raid and her house and her father’s glass factory are burnt down. She visits the ruins of the fire with her father and finds a half-melted glass rabbit. Her father decides to reopen the factory in Niigata Prefecture, and they go to the station. There they are machine-gunned and her father is killed. Her next eldest brother is demobilized and comes back but Toshiko is left in the care of a relative in Sendai till their house is built. Life in the country is hard and she cannot go to school, so she runs back to Tokyo. Her eldest brother is also demobilized but as he was an adopted son, he goes back to his parental home. Toshiko does not lose heart and lives positively.
Garasu no Usagi became a million seller, which was quite rare in children’s literature. It was pointed out that although it was a book which every child should read, the true nature of World War II was not described from an objective point of view.
Kodansha published an English version in 1986. A German translation was published in 1983, and a Spanish translation in 2003. Garasu no Usagi was translated into eight languages as of 2002. It was made into a movie in 1979 and a television drama in 1980.