- Comparatio (ISSN:13474286)
- vol.8, pp.8-23, 2004
Recently we find many articles highly evaluating Shiba Ryotaro's Saka no ue no Kumo as a historical novel which glorifies the Russo-Japanese War. Indeed, in the first half of this novel Shiba takes the war as the "self-defensive war" fought against Russia, "the barbarous Empire", by democratic Japan, which was the first country to have the "Constitution". When he refers to the "High Treason Incident" after the war, however, he writes that Tokutomi Roka, a Japanese novelist, abhors the "nation becoming the prosecution against its own people". Moreover, in the last chapter he notes that Akiyama Masayuki, one of the protagonists who defeated the Russian Fleet, falls into the same depression as Roka. In this paper I intend to examine the relation between Roka and his brother Soho, a nationalist, and to compare Roka's Tolstoy, a biography of the Russian writer, and some of his novels with Shiba's Saka no ue no Kumo and his other novels. What I would like to show through this study is that Shiba supported pacifism like Roka, for after careful researches into a good deal of material of the Russo-Japanese War he became aware of the misery of the wars in the modern ages and the problems of westernization and chauvinism which caused the Pacific War.