Before the Dawn (novel)

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Tōson Shimazaki

Before the Dawn (夜明け前 Yoakemae?) is Tōson Shimazaki's most famous historical novel. It was originally published in Chūōkōron in 1929 as a serial work. Shinchosha later published the work in novel form, with the first part being released in January 1932 and the second part being released in November 1935. It started with the phrase "The entire Kisoji is in the mountains" (木曾路はすべて山の中である Kisoji wa subete yama no naka de aru).[1] The Kisoji ran through Shimazaki's hometown in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

The novel portrays the turbulent story of the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, an event started by the arrival of Commodore Perry's ships, and the early years of the Meiji Restoration and Westernization in Japan.

In 1953, a film based on the novel was released. It was adapted by Kaneto Shindō and directed by Kōzaburō Yoshimura (吉村 公三郎 Yoshimura Kōzaburō). It was also later adapted into a play by Joseph Stein.

Translation[edit]

  • Before the Dawn, transl. by William E. Naff, University of Hawaii Press, April 1987, 798 pages, ISBN 0-8248-0914-9

Original work[edit]

  • Yoakemae is now an open source text:
Part 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b (Japanese)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yoakemae (Part 1a). Tōson Shimazaki. Aozora Bunko. Accessed May 14, 2008.