Eyes of the Emperor

Eyes of the Emperor

by Graham Salisbury

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Overview

Eddy Okubo lies about his age and joins the army in his hometown of Honolulu only weeks before the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Suddenly Americans see him as the enemy—even the U.S. Army doubts the loyalty of Japanese American soldiers.

Then the army sends Eddy and a small band of Japanese American soldiers on a secret mission to a small island off the coast of Mississippi. Here they are given a special job, one that only they can do. Eddy’s going to help train attack dogs. He’s going to be the bait.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385386562
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Series: Prisoners of the Empire Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 97,602
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Graham Salisbury is the author of several novels. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

1Honolulu,August 1941The Spirit of JapanI'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid."Bad, bad times," Pop mumbled just yesterday, scowling to himself in the boatyard while reading the Japanese newspaper, Hawaii Hochi. He mashed his lips together and tossed the paper into the trash.  I pulled it out when he wasn't looking. Some haole businessmen were saying all Japanese in Hawaii should be confined to the island of Molokai. Those white guys thought there were too many of us now; we were becoming too powerful. The tension outside Japanese camp in Honolulu was so tight you could almost hear it snapping in the air.And to make things worse, Japan, Pop's homeland, was stirring up big trouble.In 1931, when I was six, the Japanese invaded Manchuria, and they had been pushing deeper into China ever since. Less than a year ago, they'd signed up with Germany and Italy to form the Axis, all of them looking for more land, more power. Then, just last month, Japan flooded into Cambodia and Thailand.And my homeland, the U.S.A., was getting angry.President Roosevelt was negotiating with Japan to stop its invasions and get out of China, but nothing seemed to be working.And for every American of Japanese ancestry, Pop was right--these were bad, bad times.That summer I'd just turned sixteen. Me and my younger brother, Herbie, who was thirteen, helped Pop build boats in his boatyard, a business he'd had since he and Ma came to Hawaii from Hiroshima in 1921. Pop had been making sampan-style fishing boats all his life. He had a skilled apprentice named Bunichi, fresh off the boat from Japan by two years. With all of us helping out, Pop's business managed to survive.We were finishing up a new forty-footer for a haole from Kaneohe, the first boat Pop had ever made for a white guy. And there would be more, because Pop's reputation had grown beyond Japanese camp. Without question, there was no better boatbuilder in these islands than Koji Okubo, my pop. We'd been working on this one for more than seven months now, ten hours a day, six days a week.  I was painting the hull bright white over primed wood soaked in boiled linseed oil. I had to strain the paint through fine netting so it would go on like silk, leaving no room for the smallest mistake. Pop lived in the Japanese way of dame oshi, which meant everything had to be perfect.The paint fumes were getting to me, so I climbed down off the ladder to go out back for some fresh air. A small, flea-infested mutt got up and followed me into the sun. I'd found him a couple of months ago licking oil off old engine parts in the boatyard, and I'd given him some of my lunch. Now that ratty dog stuck to me like glue. I called him Sharky because he growled and showed teeth to everyone but me. Pop didn't like him, but he let him live at the shop to chase away nighttime prowlers.Pop's shop was right on the water, and just as I walked outside, a Japanese destroyer was heading out of Honolulu Harbor, passing by so close I could hit it with a slingshot. A long line of motionless and orderly guys in white uniforms stood on deck gazing back at the island. I squinted, studying them as Sharky settled by my feet. Pop suddenly ghosted up next to me, wiping his hands on a paint rag. I could see him in the corner of my eye. He was forty-eight years old and starting to get a bouncy stomach. A couple inches shorter than me, about five three. His undershirt was white and clean, tucked into khaki pants that hung on him like drying laundry, bunched at his waist with a piece of rope. He had short gray hair that prickled up on his tan head. As usual, he was scowling.Sharky got up and moved away. Pop pointed his chin toward the destroyer. "That's something, ah?" he said in Japanese. "Look at all those fine young men." They looked proud, all right."To them," Pop went on, unusually talkative, "the Emperor is like a god. They would be grateful to die for him."Grateful to die? Pop's eyes brightened. "The spirit of Satsuma," he said. "That's what lives in those boys--the unbeatable fighting spirit of Satsuma."He nodded in admiration, then continued on over to the lumber pile to look for something.What Pop said gave me the willies, because he wanted me and Herbie to be just like those navy guys, all full up with the national spirit of Japan, Yamato Damashii. Pop kept a cigar box of cash savings hidden somewhere in the house, money to send us back to Tokyo or Hiroshima to learn about our heritage. "You are Japanese," he would say. "How can you learn about your culture and tradition if you don't go to Japan?"Sure, but what if I got there and war came because the U.S. and Japan couldn't work things out? What if I got trapped and dragged into the Japanese army--or navy, like those guys on that ship? What would I do then? Because I sure didn't feel that kind of spirit. I wasn't a Japan Japanese. I was an American. Pop's newspaper had said that people around Honolulu were worried they had a "Japanese problem" on their hands--us. What would Japanese Americans do if Japan and the U.S. went to war? Where would our loyalties lie?It was ridiculous, because there was nothing to worry about.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Eyes of the Emperor"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Graham Salisbury.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Eyes of the Emperor 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eyes of the Emperor was an ok book. Some things I liked about it were that it took the side of the Japanese-Americans and saw thins through their eyes. Normal World War II books don’t look at this side of the war. Unlike normal war books which only go through the battles, this book lets us get to know the characters. Eddy in the book showed what some of the Japanese-Americans went through to prove their loyalty to America. Having to make the dogs hate you by hitting them and intentionally having dogs chase you and hunt you down must have been very hard for them. Over all it was an ok book some parts bored me and that’s why I give it 3 stars. I recommend this book only to people who really want to read it and are interested in the Japanese-American side of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Appropriate for the age group. Read in one day!
alebarbu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Eyes of the Emperor" recounts a little-known period of American military history as narrated by Eddy Okubo, a young Japanese American who lives in Honolulu. In 1941, he is sixteen, and enlists in the U.S. army by lying about his age. Less than two months after that, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Japanese Americans are now viewed suspiciously by a lot of their fellow Americans, including some in the American army who doubt the loyalty of Japanese American soldiers like Eddy. As a result, Eddy and the other Japanese American soldiers are not sent for advanced training in preparation for combat. Instead, they are first sent to spend five months guarding a beach in Hawai'i from a possible Japanese landing. Then, they are sent to an army camp in Wisconsin where they go through basic training again. There, they see an internment camp where Japanese Americans are being held, just because of their ancestry. Finally, Eddy and twenty-five other soldiers are sent to an island off the coast of Mississippi. They learn about the very demeaning job they were brought there to do. Despite the initial shock, they are soldiers, and soldiers obey orders, so they take their mission at heart. Their minds, bodies and beliefs are tried in the course of long and dangerous training exercises on the island. On Cat Island, patriotism, duty and courage are put to the test. But in the end, Eddy and his fellow soldiers will finally be viewed as the legitimate and deserving U.S. soldiers that they always were. This is an excellent novel that successfully takes us in the hearts and minds of a small group of Japanese American soldiers who feel betrayed by their country, but want to prove their loyalty to it all the more. We see the prejudice they are faced with, the cruel training they are subjected to, but also the saving camaraderie among them. The writing is powerful, and the reader gets sucked into the experience of the characters. Knowing that it is based on actual events, I was so infuriated at times by what these soldiers had to go through that I had to put the book down. It is a book that deserves to be read not only for its gripping account of the events it recounts, but also because it is important to learn about what those soldiers endured. It is interesting to know that the author met with and interviewed eight of the twenty-six "Cat Island men". I definitely recommend this book for purchase in a high school library. It is an easy read that can appeal to reluctant readers, and the compelling story should be of interest to Gr. 9-12 students, even those who do not like history. In addition, this book ties into the 11th grade social studies standards. This book was an "ALA Best Book for Young Adults" (2006), an "ALA Notable Book" (2006), and it was selected by the New York Public Library in its "Best Books for the Teen Age" in 2006.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but I think it was kind of sad at the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it was really good! Read it!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved Under the Blood Red Sun, you'll find this one just as good. I really enjoyed the emotion of the book. I felt what the characters were feeling, and the description made me understand why they were feeling that way. I totally felt their frustration with racism, stereotypes, and lack of respect. The climax of the story was amazing. The struggle and hardships earned Japanese Americans, in the U.S. army, respect from Americans all over the nation. The plot was interesting as well, reading it I kept wishing that it was non-fiction. This book gives a very strong feel of family, friendship, respect and loyalty. The whole book is very powerful and extremely moving. The ending is abrupt, but it seems to fit the book. Overall it was a good book. Great for anyone who likes historical fiction, down to earth emotions and understanding of family and what it really means to people. NKF
DemetriusJ More than 1 year ago
The book "Eyes of the Emperor," by Graham Salisbury was an okay book. It wasn't bad, but it was not a book that would really catch my interest. The book is not like your typical war book that just focuses on the war and battles; it mainly focuses on the Japanese American soldiers and their struggles in the U. S Army. There is not really that much action taking place in it like other war books would usually have, but their were times in the book where their would be mystery and suspense, which would make you be kind of anxious to see what was going to happen next. An example was when they Japanese soldiers were out patrolling an area in complete darkness and Eddy the main character and another soldier heard sounds, but couldn't see anything so they fired their rifles into the dark. When day came they found out it was a cow they shot not another person like they were scared they did. If I would recommend this book to anyone I souls recommend it to people who like reading books about social issues and war.
LukeD More than 1 year ago
The Book Eyes of the Emperor was not as great of a book as I expected it to be. I really wish there was a lot more detail. There were good parts in the book such as boat fires but when those kind of things did happen, there was not much detail. There was maybe like a page at the most for details of major. They also abused animals and you don't do that kind of stuff. I think the author of this book does not have the strength to write about real life events
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PRG13 More than 1 year ago
The book Eyes of the Emperor was an average book, not a great book. It was a book that takes place around the time of World War II. Eddy, the main character, is of Japanese descent and wants to be an American soldier, but because the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were not trusted. He was able to become a soldier, but Eddy has to face an incredibly hard job on the island where he works. He trains attack dogs and is sometimes injured himself. The book is about his struggle to become a trusted soldier and be allowed to fight in the war. Some parts of the book are very interesting and suspenseful, but other parts are slow and boring to read. A lot of the story is about the day-to-day struggles that seem to repeat themselves and aren't all that entertaining to read. I enjoy a more action-packed or suspenseful story that keeps you turning the page.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I didn't want to put it down at some points because I wanted to know what happened next. Some parts were not so great because there wasn't a lot of action. The book had some very interesting ways on how what some Americans thought of American-Japanese especially the ones living on Hawaii. Many of them weren't trusted because of their decent. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WWII books or any other war books.