Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.Read more...
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Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption this is a riveting chronicle of U.S. Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.
After their father s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest moved to Hiroshima, their mother s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.
As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.
Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima as never told before in English and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In this sweeping portrait, historian Sakamoto explores family dynamics as she profiles U.S. Army Col. Harry Fukuhara (19202015), an eminent linguist whose brother served in Hirohitos army during WWII. Sakamoto draws on extensive interviews as well as a long acquaintance with her subject and his family to infuse the narrative with great poignancy. Opening in Seattle with the 1929 stock market crash, Sakamotos account introduces Harry, his brothers Frank and Pierce, and their sister, Mary, whose world crashed with the 1933 death of their father. Desperate, their mother whisks them to her hometown of Hiroshima, where the children suffer culture shock. Unable to assimilate, Harry returns to the U.S. in 1938, a year and a half after Mary does, but both of them end up in an Arizona internment camp in 1942. When Army recruiters scouted the camp looking for translators, Harry passed the test, embarking on a career in U.S. military intelligence. Despite their efforts to avoid battle, his brothers in Japan were drafted in a 1945 last-ditch mass mobilization. Franks experiences as a teenager in the Japanese Army provide the counterpoint to Harrys wartime reminiscences. Sakamoto presents a gripping story of colorful individuals, though her novelistic tone often undermines the gravity of the story she relates. (Jan.)