If you compare the treatment dealt out in the immediate postwar period to Japanese writers who supported their nation's military aggression in World War II with that meted out to such writers in Europe, the Japanese literary collaborators seem to have got off lightly.

Of course there were exceptions, such as the gung-ho novelist Ashihei Hino (1907-60). After the war he was publicly vilified, and though he tried to make amends by supporting progressive causes, he took his own life, by poison, out of unrelenting guilt.

But generally, writers who had enthusiastically waved the flag and rattled the saber during the 15-year-long war in Asia and the Pacific melted back into the routine of ordinary life once it was over — many, indeed, continuing to publish.