Important People in A River in Darkness

Masaji Ishikawa
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Masaji Ishikawa

Masaji Ishikawa is the author, main character, and narrator of A River in Darkness. Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Korean father, his early years were troubled by his father's drinking and domestic violence. As a Korean in Japan, his family also faced racial discrimination that kept them in poverty and at the bottom of the social ladder. Masaji primarily identifies with his Japanese roots but is introduced to Korean culture and identity when his father sends him to a Korean junior high school. Masaji has always been very close to his mother and three younger sisters, but it isn't until his father reforms his violence and drinking and begins to show more love and compassion toward his family that his relationship with his father begins to improve.

After moving to North Korea at 13 years old, Ishikawa is struck by the hardships of...

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This section contains 1,947 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A River in Darkness Study Guide
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