After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Government encouraged all eligible young men to enlist immediately in the fight against its enemies overseas--all eligible young men, except Japanese-Americans. Nisei is the story of Hideo "Bobby" Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country. Narrated by Bobby Takahashi and read by his son, Robert, forty-six years after Bobby's death, the story details the young Nisei's determination to fight honorably for his country and return to the young love he was forced to leave--a girl he cannot have because she is White.
|Publisher:||Black Opal Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||405 KB|
About the Author
He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece Tour Bus. He enjoys writing, surfing, golf and tennis. White lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife, editor, and typist, Pamela.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Raanan Geberer for Readers' Favorite Nisei by J.J. White tells the story of Hideo, or Bobby, Takahashi, a young Hawaii-born Japanese-American, and his adventures during World War II, as revealed in a memoir that his son discovers after his death and his son’s reaction. Unlike the Japanese on the West Coast, the Hawaiian Nisei were basically left alone—with some exceptions. Bobby’s family is one of those exceptions, since his father sent scrap iron home to Japan until the eve of the war and some drawings Bobby made of Pearl Harbor found their way into the hands of Japanese pilots. Soon, the family is sent to a series of mainland internment camps. Bobby had hoped to marry his sweetheart, a white Hawaiian, but her parents now forbid it. Instead, his father forces him to marry the Japanese-born Chiyoko, whose family knew his in Japan, and who’s a bit of a trollop. Bobby finally gets the opportunity to enlist in a Japanese-American regiment and prove his loyalty, but his troubles are just beginning—his sergeant is Big Eddie, a huge Hawaiian bully who terrorized him during his teens. White is an excellent writer, and he’s one of the few fiction writers who basically follows the rules of brevity laid out by my journalism professor—three sentences per paragraph, 30 words per sentence. I was fascinated by his recreation of Hawaiian Pidgin, a dialect that islanders frequently use, even those who are educated. Nisei also has great historical detail—I always wondered about the relationship between Hawaiian-born Japanese and California-born Japanese in the World War II army, and this book provides the answer. Above all, I must applaud J.J. White for getting a handle on the Japanese-American culture. For those who are interested in the story of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Nisei is a must-read. An excellent book.
Having only heard mentioning of the atrocities forced upon American-born Japanese or those who’d immigrated prior to WWII, I was educated to the facts by Nisei. Although, as with all races in the U.S. then and now, there are those who will always have connections—sentimental, familial, and inherited—to their homeland, it is quite difficult to distinguish the terroristic and treasonistic from those who are loyal to America. It is an inner choice, an opinion, just as all things are. Only when the negativity is acted upon—as in death, destruction of property, and imposed fear—that profiling is done, both subconsciously and on purpose. During WWII, we were battling Germans and Italians in Europe, and had been attacked by the Japanese December 7, 1941. Not only were Japanese Americans being watched, so was anyone with an accent or ties to Europe or Japan. Yet it is what was done to the Japanese that stands out the most. Racism and prejudice spread; the seed of which was fear, just like today. It is only with knowledge, understanding, and love can this be stopped. In Nisei, an innocent, Japanese American young man’s artwork was used to facilitate the attack on Pearl Harbor. Now we have satellite phones that can transmit instantaneously. It has become technologically challenging to protect our borders, to guard our families, to prevent another 9/11. It is my hope we do not revisit our past mistakes, but we must protect the United States. Thank you, JJ White, for bringing this part of American history to light. Let us not forget. — CJ Loiacono
Robert is in debt and decided to sale his mother's house and then he plans on ending it all. While searching the house one last time he comes across a box with a memoir from his father. This memoir shows the life his father lived as a boy and after during World War 2. He witnesses the attack on Pearl Harbor and shortly thereafter he and his family suffer imprisonment because they are Japanese-Americans. Through all the hate and judgement he still showed love for his country and played a big role in his war years. He was honored with many medals for bravery in war. He was an American, no matter what others said. This book was very interesting. World War 2 and the attack on Pearl Harbor has always been a great interest of mine. This book gives a little different view of this time. A view that isn't seen often, a view from what many see as the enemy side. It told a horrible and sad tale of hate, while also telling a wonderful story full of bravery and hope. This story was written very well. It was real and sad. It had action and showed the world at a horrible time. It painted a not so great picture of what being different can really mean when the world around you is at war. This book is a book that I will gladly recommend to any lovers of history. It was a really good read. Just a heads up....the ending is a big tear jerker. I cried like a baby. I really loved how this story ended....Stormi
This is definitely a genre I steer clear of normally (Historical/War-Military/Japanese-American)--I am not into war. That said I am very glad I agreed to read this one when asked. The things they don't teach us in history class--unbelievable. This is a work of fiction but based on real events! Let me clear up some of the words first since a lot of us don't know the meaning-- Nisei - A Japanese son or daughter, born and educated in the United States, whose parents emigrated from Japan Issei - A man or woman who were born in Japan but emigrated to the United States Haole - A White American This book uses a lot of words that the Hawaiian Japanese used back then and some even in pidgeon-but all words are explained within the pages of this novel. Also be sure to read the Author's note at the beginning of the novel. This is the story, written in the form of a memoir, from Hidio Takahashi as he was dying to his son, Robert Yakahashi. He had a translator write down his story as he spoke it. It tells of his life, how he was accused wrongly of being a spy and how he and his family were sent to an interment camp, and what they were like. It tells of his love from an early age for Mary (who did love him back)-but how both their fathers forbid it. It also tells the story of the soldiers of the 442nd--a unit in the army of Hawaiian Japanese Americans who fought for the United States in WWII. Will what is written stop Robert from committing suicide? Will the revelations about who he really is haunt him or set him free? Yes, this is also a love story written beautifully and I hope that all people read this book---To forget history means it might just happen again (heaven forbid).