Contrary to the description in the Media, it is just a true diary of a Japanese Infantry.
There is no repent nor remorse.
It is a book describing an ordinary patriotic young man in Kyoto, joining the army to invade ChiNA, as a holy war. To resurrect the mainland and lead it be under the greatest race....Japan.
The most tough of his life is just walking along the field side roads and along the grassfields.
Fighting is relatively easy as the enemy army is just so so.
So in this book , he accurately described that
the average good boy will go to war as loyalty to the Emperor.
That chinese then were poorly educated and stupid, and the cities seen were just undeveloped.
The soldiers actually know chinese history quite well from ancient, till Qing dynastry unto Dr Sun, whom he respects and Chiang whom he despised. So this war is to take the land that should be under proper hands and any killing is just unintentional and yet inevitable.
Human in China were just not humans, and so women, can be stripped and raped, shops can be looted.....and man can captured for labor and soldiers killed and slaughtered. However, japanese are humans so they can loot and rape and kill and yet this is in compare.
The value of the book is that it left a true realistic description of the cities, being invaded and just gives data on the city invaded.
If you compare with books from Chinese on SinoJapanese war.
you will realize that chinese aim for survival and fight with full heart and spirit.
while Japanese fight just to aim for bettering of life and only aim for excellency , the army are elite and yet corrupted in China with cruelty, sex and VD
the other hand, Chinese fought with deep devotion vs the suppress of mainland for decades by Japanse......walking in the field, is not a problem, the most important is to expel the Japanese and get back one's own land