Siberia Under Snow by Kuroshima Denji (translation by Lawrence Rogers)
Kuroshima Denji’s Siberia under snow tells of two Japanese soldiers posted in Siberia and the chain of events that lead to their deaths. There is underlying antiwar sentiment throughout the story. Rather than being rewarded for their diligence, the soldiers have their posting extended – demonstrating the unfairness of the military. This leads to a degradation in the soldier’s behaviour and they begin to use live ammunition to hunt rabbits. They become more and more reckless as they hunt, ranging further and further until they eventually come upon Russians who execute them. This could be interpreted as a commentary on the waste of resources on ill thought-through ventures. When the soldier’s bodies are discovered their superior feels no guilt over their deaths, instead worrying about how to explain the loss of two sets of weapons and clothing, suggesting that the military prioritises finances over human life.
2 Replies to “Siberia Under Snow: Summary and Interpretation”
Hi Zoe- do you think the chief medic who has to account for the loss of uniform is worried about being reprimanded by superiors for financial reasons or more annoyed at the hassle of the bureaucratic process of logging the incident?
That is a good point that did not occur to me! Possibly both.