Writing a novel on the 442nd

What Nikkei means to her Fitting in to both sides of her family Hapa Haole Daughters want to identify with their cultures Culture is an important part of one's identity Writing a novel on the 442nd Not many Japanese Jews

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Well I am writing a novel about the 442nd infantry where three of my uncles served in WWII. When I talk to my 90 year old uncle in Hawai'i, and I visited him recently, he doesn't want to talk about it. He said, "I just did what I had to do. I just did the right thing." So I'm going to be writing a novel from the perspective of my mother as a little girl. Her brothers were seven years older. And all the men suddenly from her little farm village in Kona, Hawai'i left at the same time to go off to war. It was like there were no men left. Her and her sister and her mother and all the women of the town had to get together and keep the farm going and keep the little mom and pop grocery store going. It will be from the perspective of her as a child seeing all of this happen. I've been doing interviews with a lot of veterans and veterans wives and what they experienced, love affairs and marriages and some of them cheated when they were over there. It's gonna be this meaty, lovely, passionate, tangible great story about the Japanese Americans who went to fight in World War II. So that's a book I'm writing on. I'm writing it really as... I'm thinking about it as a gift. The Jews call it a 'mitzvah'. It’s like my gift to them, to tell their story and to tell it in a respectful, honorably way.

Date: April 4, 2013
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Patricia Wakida
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

442nd hawai'i veterans war World War II

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