The lives of two boy cousins in present post-war Japan are full of conflicts between old customs and new ideas and carefully introduced characters represent almost every shade of thinking that influences them. One to resist the new concepts of democracy and religion, another most progressive, a third clinging passionately to the old ways, a fourth who is a Japanese Christian, etc., display the contrasts. The boys are likeable, enjoying a festival, admiring the goat from America. But somehow it is all a little stiff and unnatural, and has a heavy stressing of ""he's just another little boy like you"" which is irritating and helps to defeat the sincere good intentions of better understanding which has prompted the book. Let's not forget that a good story is important too.