A dramatic and cautionary World War II story, July 24, 2015
This review is from: Tommy’s Wars: Paradise to Hell and Back (Kindle Edition)
This is a dramatic and cautionary tale about how a peaceful Japanese family from Hawaii was disrupted by the actions of the governments of both Japan and the United States during World War II. J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI questioned the loyalty of the father, a Buddhist priest, before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He spent the war in internment camps on the U.S. mainland. In Japan, where his children had been sent to attend school, his sons faced conscription by the military as soon as they became old enough. One was working at a factory in Hiroshima when the first atomic bomb fell. Another son, the subject of this book, was sent to Manchuria late in the war and, after the Japanese surrender, spent two years in a Soviet labor camp in Siberia. When he was freed and tried to return to Hawaii, he found his U.S. citizenship had been revoked.
The book documents the misfortunes of the Sarashina family, whose primary offense, the author notes, was being in the wrong place at the wrong time as various governments fought wars in which millions of ordinary people suffered. Eventually, Tommy, the book’s focus, was allowed to return to Maui and found work at one of its golf courses.
The book is very readable. It is strongest when reconstructing the family’s experiences during the war. The book also contains an analysis of big power politics and a warm account of Tommy’s return to his home town of Lahaina, where he is now retired.
“The book is very readable. It is strongest when reconstructing the family’s experiences during the war.”
“Most of Fields’ book covers other World War II experiences of the Sarashina family, notably Tommy Sarashina, the now-retired longtime golf course marshal at Kaanapali Golf Course. The book includes the family’s experiences with the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans and Tommy Sarashina’s fate of being a Japanese prisoner of war in a Soviet slave-labor camp in Siberia.” Maui News
Great to see people out today for Tommy Sarashina and Howard Fields’ book signing. “Tommy’s Wars”… https://instagram.com/p/-Pa5onDI3E/