Harry Fukuwara was born in America and raised here until his family returned to Japan during the depression. He attended high school in Japan much to his dismay. As the war against China demanded more and more soldiers, Harry worried that he would be drafted into the Japanese Army. He had already experienced the misery of the military training in the high school and wanted nothing more than to leave Japan. His older brothers were eventually drafted, but Harry was determined to return to the States, where he truly felt at home. Unfortunately, soon after he returned Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese and feeling against the Japanese, which had always been strong, became even worse. Harry attempted to enlist to fight for the Allies, but his application was denied. He and his sister were removed to a internment camp and waited there to learn what their fates would be. Finally, Harry was accepted as a translator for the Army and was stationed in the Pacific as an interpreter. His story, as told to Pamela Rotner Sakamoto and researched by her gives a unique look into his experience of the war as well as the experience of his mother, who lived on Hiroshima and awaited word of her sons who were all fighting in the war, but on opposing sides.
This book tells in beautiful language multiple stories of the Japanese during World War II. The breadth of the story is unique in that it presents the experiences in such a personal way. The story of ordinary people and their experience of war is often missing from history, and this perspective is very welcome. It will round out the history collections of public as well as college libraries, moving our memory of war beyond the strategies of battle fields and into the horrific costs of war.