A River in Darkness

A River in Darkness

One Man's Escape From North Korea

Book - 2017
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"Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian. A memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life." -- Publisher's description
Publisher: Seattle : AmazonCrossing, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781503936904
Branch Call Number: 951.9304 ISHIK ISHIK
Characteristics: 159 pages : map ; 22 cm
Notes: Previously published in Japan in 2000. Translated from Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown. First published in English by AmazonCrossing in 2017


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Dec 04, 2018

Would recommend a whole list of other defector stories This one is unique as the author originally grew up in Japan before his family migrated back to the DPRK. With all respect to the author and what he has endured, this was one of the most depressing stories. I'd recommend - Nothing to Envy, A Kim Jong-Il Production, Aquariums for Pyongyang, The Girl With Seven Names, In Order To Live, Dear Leader. Basically anything but this book.

Jul 29, 2018

A very interesting and insightful story that is a fast read and revealing of what occurs in North Korea.

May 06, 2018

A powerful and moving story by Masaji Ishikawa who was born in Japan in the '40's. His father was Korean and mother Japanese. After WWII many Korean's were living in Japan and North Korea was making a bold campaign to repatriate Koreans to their northern homeland. Ishikawa's family went to North Korea with optimism and hope for the promised future ideal. What followed was a life of struggle that few can imagine. Starvation, depravation, and death for many was the norm. This is a true story of the eventual success of the first person to escape North Korea. Although bleak, the reader feels the intense fight of Ishikawa to be free.


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