Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sources for "Unbroken," "accurate and fair" by Hillenbrand

Accurate and fair?
In an interview, Hillenbrand proudly mentions her extensive research.
Again, here is the link:
Interview with Laura Hillenbrand, the author Unbroken
Go to this site, click "Essays" and then find the interview.

"...I was researching obsessively, trying to find every source,...cross-checking every fact against other sources to be sure my reporting was accurate and fair..."

OK, but it seems to me that when there are two contradicting sources, she tends to choose the one unfavorable to the Japanese. Later, I will talk about "the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans on Tinian"  She mentions this event twice though it is totally unrelated to Zamperini's story. Her sources does not seem so reliable to me.  Actually no one has ever heard of such a massacre before. This (unrealistic) episode also shocked the Japanese.

So, I would present sources that she did not pick for her book as well as those used there.

Japanese sources
There are Japanese written sources in the reference.  The important one is Watanabe's note in the Japanese magazine called "Bungei Shunju," April 1956.   "Bungei Shunju," or 文芸春秋 is Japan's quality magazine, which any Japan specialists must have heard of .
In her book, it is written as "Bingei Shunjyu" all through the reference. "Bungei" means literature in Japanese, but "Bingei" does not make any sense.

Also, Shukan Kinboyi in p.727 does not make sense.  It has to be Kin-yo-bi, which means Friday. No one, the author, assistant (if any), editor and others did not realize before the book was published.

I am not making fun of her mistakes in Japanese.  I want to emphasize the fact that she does not have much knowledge of Japanese.  A natural question is, without having its knowledge, how she collected those Japanese sources. Bungei Shunju issued in 1956?  Only a small number of libraries holds it in Japan.  Who helped her?

With her chronicle disease and lacking knowledge in Japanese, how did she collect all those sources?

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