Kan Nakamura's journal exposes the mind of a young Japanese officer during the Second World War, serving with one of the highly disciplined, but outmanned regiments stationed on Guadalcanal. A young officer, apparently fresh out of a military academy, Nakamura is a sympathetic figure, motivated but sensitive, a man who yearns for home, fears combat, but who guts out the worst conditions of hunger, disease, death, and threat from the air.
Although the journal entries are brief and often perfunctory, and although he took part in little actual combat on Guadalcanal, Nakamura's journal is a valuable record of the first major land battle in the Pacific involving American forces as seen from the Japanese perspective. It is particularly useful for revealing the emotional and mental preparation of a typical Japanese junior officer and provides revealing glimpses of day-to-day service during the worst period of the Battle of Guadalcanal, as well as the hardships experienced by the entrenched forces.
The journal is a typescript translation of the original Japanese, made in April, 1943, shortly after the American victory at Guadalcanal. It was presumably translated by American intelligence agents interested in information on Japanese troop movements, strength, or strategy, but it contains no information about Nakamura's fate.