Page 18. " A radio somewhere was playing a popular song. It was Hibari Misora singing it. "

Page 18. " Was this the man who had been a military policeman at Nanking? "

The military policeman was likely a perpetrator in what is today known as the Rape of Nanking or the Nanking Massacre, during which Japanese soldiers raped and killed Chinese civilians. During the course of six weeks, it is estimated that between 40,000 and 300,000 Chinese were murdered, and countless more raped.

Page 19. " I can't help thinking about the Egyptian desert and the sphinx "

The Egyptian sphinx alluded to here is the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Page 23. " graduation ceremony of Fukuoka University Medical School "

The horrors detailed in this novel occur at Fukuoka University Medical School and Hospital, based on the actual events that occured in 1945 at the medical school of Kyushu Imperial University. For additional information, consult CG Roland's "Human Vivisection: The Intoxication of Limitless Power in Wartime" in Prisoners of War and Their Captors in World War IIedited by Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich.

Page 24. " My sister-in-law had settled upon a 'love marriage' "

A marriage of two individuals based on love, as opposed to an arranged marriage which is often planned by the parents of the individuals and the union may have finacial or social gain attached to it.