Finally Read Them All!
I finally read all the five volumes of a novel, “Shizumanu Taiyo (The Sun That Does Not Set)” written by Toyoko Yamasaki. When I went to Japan last summer, Virgo-san kindly let me borrow the books.
I started reading without knowing much what the story was about. To be honest, my reading pace was rather slow at first. It was a story about a businessman who against his will had to head the company’s union. Although he thought he had done what was right, he had drawn hostile attention from the executives and was transferred around from one foreign remote area to another for 10 years.
“Hmm. The theme is too heavy for short reading in bed and a bit depressing.” Although I almost gave up many times, somehow, every time, the novel made me think I had to keep going. As I moved on, there was an appalling discovery. “This is a story that is as close to the truth as it could ever be....”
This major airline started as a state-owned company. It had reigned as Japan’s national flag carrier and the story developed into the 1985 plane crash, the worst accident in the airline history, that took the lives of 520 people all at once. Searching bodies at the crash site. Families frantically looking for the bodies of their beloved ones at a make-shift morgue... The description was so real that I almost turned my eyes away from the book. However, again, I felt the urge that I must keep going and I did without missing one phrase or even a word.
Inside the airline in question, however, turned out to be full of chilling secrets. While its sincere remorse about the crash was only an appearance, executives, related bureaucrats and politicians were ripping off the company just for their own personal interests. A highly competent chairman was sent from outside on government call for management reforms and the main character businessman was chosen to work directly to him. After all, however, the new chairman was kicked out by those greedy goblins and the businessman was again to be pushed in a miserable plight.
Exposed to seemingly never-ending corruption stories inside the compnay, I even felt being tortured. “Honesty does not pay.” Is this what the novel is about? Being earnest seemed meaningless. Still, however, the main character kept his uncompromising stance and lived his own way. It was like a once in a lifetime chance to encounter a book like this which is well worth reading.
Then, in reality, Japan Airlines had actually failed. It happened early this year, exactly a quarter-century after the crash. Is there a more irony than this? It was about 10 years ago when this novel was written. I realize things were already unfixable at that time and the company had set its course to failure since then.
To write this novel, it is said that the author had interviewed a few hundreds of people, which I was so impressed with. The publisher, too, despite numerous harassment that they had received, did not give up putting out the book. Although I spent a number of days like a ghost from lack of sleep, it was no doubt worth it. I’m so glad that I read it. Thank you, Virgo-san, for lending me such a wonderful novel!! You will have the books back this summer!!(^o^)/