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‘We all know what this could be: we know it could be dysentery, we know it could be typhoid. In the Occupied City, we all know what this could mean -‘
Tokyo, January 26th, 1948. As the third year of the US Occupation of Japan begins, a man enters a downtown bank. He speaks of an outbreak of dysentery and says he is a doctor, sent by the Occupation authorities, to treat anyone who might have been exposed.
Clear liquid is poured into sixteen teacups. Sixteen employees of the bank drink this liquid according to strict instructions. Within minutes twelve of them are dead, the other four unconscious. The man disappears along with some, but not all, of the bank’s money. And so begins the biggest manhunt in Japanese history.
In Occupied City, David Peace dramatises and explores the rumours of complicity, conspiracy and cover-up that surround the chilling case of the Teikoku Bank Massacre: of the man who was convicted of the crime, of the legacy of biological warfare programmes, and of the victims and survivors themselves.
The second part of his acclaimed Tokyo Trilogy – and an extraordinary picture of a city in mourning – Occupied City is further evidence of a singular and formidable novelist.
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