"We were awakened by a 'boom-boom' sound like that of distant thunder on that Sunday morning." So begin many of the stories in this book by Japanese Americans living in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Japanese Eyes, American Heart: Voices from the Home Front in World War II Hawaii gathers dozens of deeply personal stories, many of them never before published, that reveal the hardship, sorrow and anguish—as well as the pride, compassion and even joy—experienced by islanders of Japanese ancestry. This second volume of Japanese Eyes, American Heart, chronicling the experiences of those left at home, complements the memoirs of nisei soldiers—men who served with gallantry and distinction on the war front—presented in Japanese Eyes, American Heart: Personal Reflections of Hawaii s World War II Nisei Soldiers, first published fourteen years ago.
Everything changed for all residents of the then-Territory of Hawaii as the devastating attack sparked the entry of the United States into World War II. But for Hawaii s Japanese, who made up some 40 percent of the population, the ensuing war with an enemy who looked like them cast suspicion on aliens and American citizens alike. These stories of quiet strength and enduring resiliency, collected by the Hawaii Nikkei History Editorial Board, give rare insight into the seeds of change that transformed postwar Hawaii and define the legacy of this wartime generation.