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A River in Darkness Summary

Masaji Ishikawa

A River in Darkness

by Masaji Ishikawa

A River in Darkness

Masaji Ishikawa

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Insight Icon3 key insights
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In this harrowing account of his life as a Japanese-Korean immigrant in North Korea, Masaji Ishikawa shares his story of suffering, loss, and despair.

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A River in Darkness

by Masaji Ishikawa

A River in Darkness

Masaji Ishikawa

Overview

Masaji Ishikawa is a North Korean defector who escaped in 1996 after 36 years of living under the communist government.

After the Korean War ended in 1953, the North Korean government began rebuilding its country by seeking ethnic Koreans to migrate to North Korea. Many Koreans living outside of the Korean peninsula, including Ishikawa's father, were encouraged to join the repatriation project. In 1960, 13-year-old Ishikawa and his family migrated to North Korea along with over 49,000 others.

Ishikawa managed to stay alive and escape North Korea to Japan, where he first shared his horrific experiences. In his book A River in Darkness, Ishikawa commits his story of deprivation, loss, and suffering during his life in North Korea to paper.

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Favorite Quote

"I want to give this food to my family in North Korea. But I can't. So I entrust it to the seagulls. And in my heart, they carry it off to my family. And I weep."

Masaji Ishikawa

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A River in Darkness

Masaji Ishikawa

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