The Sea and Poison
The novel The Sea and Poison won the Akutagawa Prize when it was published in Japan in 1958 and established Shusaku Endo in the forefront of modern Japanese literature.
The Sea and Poison was the first Japanese book to confront the problem of individual responsibility in wartime, painting a searing picture of the human race’s capacity for inhumanity. At the outset of this powerful story we find a Doctor Suguro in a backwater of modern-day Tokyo practicing expert medicine in a dingy office. He is haunted by his past experience and it is that past which the novel unfolds. During the war Dr. Suguro serves his internship in a hospital where the senior staff is more interested in personal career-building than in healing. He is induced to assist in a horrifying vivisection of a POW. "What is it that gets you," one of his colleagues asks. "Killing that prisoner? The conscience of man, is that it?"
Praise For The Sea and Poison: A Novel…
— Publishers Weekly
New Directions, 9780811211987, 175pp.
Publication Date: April 17, 1992