THE PHOENIX TREE is a 1984 novel from Australian award-winning author Jon Cleary, set in Japan during the last days of World War II. In the closing days of World War II, two friends – Kenji Minato and Tom Akada, both serving in the United States Navy, are sent on a mission to Japan. Their urgent task as undercover agents is to identify members of the Peace Faction and to estimate its strength. Their wireless operator is Natasha Cairns – the widow of an English agent who becomes more than just a colleague to Tom as their love for each other grows. Amidst the dark terrors of the blanket bombing of Tokyo and the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two spies find out more about themselves than their mission. Each faces a struggle to come to terms with the war and, even more, with a dishonourable peace.