Tamura Yoshikazu is destined to die on the alien shores of the New Guinea warzone. Devoid of family contact, perplexed by the unfamiliarity of his environment, deprived of even meagre amenities and faced with the spectre of debilitating illness and starvation, this solitary soldier commenced a diary in the early part of 1943. Employed in the hard labour of building airstrips, he is ground down by tedium, disheartened by the now dysfunctional military hierarchy, consumed by grief at the meaningless deaths of comrades, and stripped of any chance of being involved in an aspect of war that he considers heroic and meaningful. Profoundly unsettled by all that appears to be at odds with the kokutai ideology, Tamura employs strategies through the vehicle of his diary to enable him to remain committed to the pathway of death on behalf of the Emperor.
Victoria Eaves-Young is a University Associate at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia. Victoria was educated at The Australian National University in Canberra, and received her PhD in Japanese Literature from the University of Tasmania. Victoria has spent a number of years teaching in Japan. She has been the recipient of two Japan Study Grants at the National Library of Australia and has undertaken extensive research of captured Japanese Army documents at the Australian War Memorial. Her research focus has been the study of Japanese soldier diaries in the Pacific War.