JOURNEY BY JUNK by Willard Price


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Returning to an old haunt with a new purpose, Willard Price deftly weaves an adventure story with current commentary on Japan after MacArthur in his travelogue of a ""journey by junk"" through Japan's Inland Sea. In the Kompira, dedicated to the sea god, the Prices and their crew with Captain Wide-Margin-of-Safety at the helm traversed the sea despite mines, whirlpools, and typhoon. In a cave which had been built to hold pirate gold he discovered an underground militarist meeting; on the islands he found legends, politeness, backscrubbers. He comments on the status of woman under the occupation, on the problems of birth control, on the lack of discipline of the youth in a system still foreign to them, on the absence of direction in a culture deprived of its gods. It is evident that he winces at MacArthur's heady assertion that we have remade Japan, that she will never war again, this when we are asking her to rearm (since 1951) and when her own constantly burgeoning population presses for expansion. Communism and militarism and Shintoism still appeal --and threaten, and the press that tells us of them is far from unfettered. This mixed drink of adventure and commentary is easy to take.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1953
Publisher: John Day