I am a calm and measured gentleman otherwise but there is one thing that transforms me into an impulsive, impetuous and impatient ….umm, for want of a better term, I will use Berserker. This particular thing happens to be a thirst for knowledge or information about some area of human endeavour or account with which I have been only cursorily acquainted till the present but is now for me, the simple most important thing. You may note that this happens to be an abstract pursuit and questions how the berserker bit comes in? Well, it comes in search of material which I need to satiate my new hunger.
The latest happens to be about Imperial Japan. And it is interesting to me how this came about – an extended version of what I call the “train of thought”, where one things leads to another, and it to another, in a long and intriguing chain until you come to dwell on something at least twenty-fold removed from what you started from (and this sequence is singular to everyone since it is based on their own recollections – conscious or those forgotten ones that get released when you really begin thinking with a considerable part of your mind – well, in my own case, I may venture to add that when the mind is itself considerable….. but I digress).
Imperial Japan. Well this came about when I had taken up a rather intriguing whodunit called “Murder on the Leviathan”, one of Boris Akunin’s Fandorin series. One of the characters in this rivetting tale happens to be a Japanese gentleman on his way back from Europe to his country after undergoing a course of study…. well I will not go into further detail, but to say that the character intrigued me and engendered a brief desire to read about more such characters. There are further Fandorin series novels available, including two which chronicle his own services in Japan. I resolved to acquire them and hunted on a brace of online book sale portals I have recently become addicted too. But, as I had feared, they were not available. Then I am not sure but in my mind came another thought – lets go ahead in time, lets say the 1920s or so. From there, suddenly the name of Grand Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto came to my mind and I thought it would be swell to read about him. But there was nothing available on him as well….
But I had a lead now…. So I searched for Pearl Harbour (or Harbor, as the victims call it) and found a novel, which offered both sides of the story leading up to the “Day of Infamy” (Dec 8, 1941) (And please don’t ask me what this signifies – I certainly won’t tell you). And the price was reasonable too. So bang, I ordered it. And then followed further searches, but I am happy to tell you I found two more of the ilk. After checking them out on a global book-ordering service (sadly unavailable in this benighted country), I checked on one of the sites and found them – I checked on the other, to be sure, and there were available there too – and at a lesser price. It is roughly half-an-hour before that I ordered them. Delivery might take up to three weeks – but I can wait and it will give me something to look forward too.
What these are I will tell you but tomorrow….