A River in Darkness Summary
Masaji Ishikawa

Everything you need to understand or teach A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa.

  • A River in Darkness Summary & Study Guide

A River in Darkness Overview

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea is the story of Masaji Ishikawa's life in North Korea after his family repatriated there from Japan in the 1960s. The memoir outlines his childhood in Japan, as well as his teen and adult years in North Korea, with a particular emphasis on the brutal conditions of life under Kim Il-sung's dictatorship. The story also covers Ishikawa's escape from North Korea in the mid-1990s and his efforts to return to Japan, where he continues to face economic, personal, and political struggles. A River in Darkness explores themes of family bonds, destiny, totalitarianism, personal strength, and the cruelty of life.

Study Pack

The A River in Darkness Study Pack contains: