Two Homelands

Two Homelands

eBook - 2008
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Two Homelands (Futatsu no sokoku) tells the powerful story of three brothers during the years surrounding World War II. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the Pacific War, relocation to Manzanar, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the Tokyo war crimes trials, we follow the lives of Kenji, Tadashi, and Isamu Amo, the California-born sons of Japanese immigrants. The eldest, Kenji, must grapple with what it means to belong to two nations at war with one another and to face betrayal by both. Tadashi, in school in Japan when war breaks out, is drafted into the Japanese army and renounces his U.S. citizenship. Later Kenji and Tadashi find themselves on opposite sides of a battlefield in the Philippines; although they both survive the conflict, their relationship is destroyed by the war. Isamu, the youngest and the most thoroughly American of the brothers, loves John Wayne movies and gives his life to rescue the lost Texas battalion fighting in France. Popular Japanese novelist Toyoko Yamasaki spent five years interviewing Japanese-Americans and researching documentary sources to assemble the raw material for her book. Through the story of the Amo family, she forces readers to confront the meaning of "love of country" as her characters encounter prejudice and suspicion on both sides of the Pacific.
Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawaiì Press, ©2008.
ISBN: 9781435665804
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vi, 691 pages)
Additional Contributors: Morris, V. Dixon


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Feb 09, 2014

Two Homelands describes a set of Nisei (2nd generation Japanese emigrants to the US) just before and through the defeat of Japan in WWII including the horrific bombing of Hiroshima. The author brings out the variety of experience and reactions of the Japanese-Americans. The situations described in the story are very interesting This story is well researched though there are a few historically factual errors that are not germane (e.g. claiming that J. Robert Oppenheimer was a German Jew, and that the US soldiers finished all combat at 5 pm in the Pacific). Unfortunately, this book is in desperate need of an editor. The author does not seem to resolve whether or not to write a historical fiction to write a history. In more capable hands the stories would come to life but the dialog seems forced at times and pointless at others. For the historical sections (mostly not related to the Nisei), the author presents a very biased view - albeit understandably so. In my opinion, there remains to be told a great story related to the Nisei experience from the Nisei perspective.

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