World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

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Tomonaga Ijiro Character Analysis

Ijiro founded Japan’s Tatenokai, or Shield Society, and teaches hand-to-hand combat. He lost his eyesight when he watched the nuclear bomb go off when he was a young boy, and is considered hibakusha, or “survivor of the bomb.” After his injury, he hated feeling like a burden on people, so he left his old life and became a gardener far from his old home. When he heard of an imminent zombie invasion, he didn’t want to be burden on the people around him who might have to look after him when the crisis came, so he went to live by himself up in the mountains. Here, he finally found his purpose—he believed it was to rid the earth of zombies and to keep Japan beautiful for when its people returned. His blindness proved to be an asset when he fought the zombies armed with his ikupasuy, a tool that looked like a long spade. He could hear them and smell them, and destroyed every zombie he came across. Eventually, he met Tatsumi, and asked him to join his mission, too. Ijiro’s has lived his entire life selflessly and is anchored by a strong sense of morality.
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Tomonaga Ijiro Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Tomonaga Ijiro appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: Around the World, and Above
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Kyoto, Japan. Sensei Tomonaga Ijiro founded Japan’s Tatenokai or “Shield Society,” and has been blind since he was a teenager.... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Ijiro tried to find some employment but was politely rejected every time. His brother invited him... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
While trimming the bushes by the hotel, Ijiro heard people talking about the first domestic outbreak, in which a man had killed his... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Ijiro hiked into the Hiddaka Mountains, away from all civilization. His gardener friend had taken him... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
One morning, Ijiro sensed a big bear nearby and thought it was his fate to die, and that... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Ijiro says that losing his sight had made him adept at survival. He didn’t take his... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
On Ijiro’s second winter in the mountains, he had just settled to sleep when he heard human... (full context)
Chapter 8: Good-Byes
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
...Shield Society has been designated an independent branch of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. While watching Ijiro greeting guests, Tatsumi tells the narrator that he doesn’t “really believe any of this spiritual... (full context)