“Midnight in Broad Daylight” A Japanese American Family at War :

“Midnight in Broad Daylight” by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto is a stunning new book that centers on the factual wartime experiences of Frank and Harry Fukuhara. Frank and Harry are American-born sons of Japanese Immigrants who grow up in Auburn, Washington. When their father dies, their mother takes the boys back to Japan where they finish their high school education.

midnight in broad daylight

The Fukuhara Family. Harry (left) Frank (center) with their parents and brother

Fearful of losing his US citizenship, Harry returns to America. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he is placed in a relocation camp, but gets out by joining the US Army’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS), a unit comprised of Japanese American soldiers who specialized in translating and analyzing Japanese military documents and interrogating prisoners. Harry sees action in the Philippines and is selected to take part in the upcoming invasion of Japan.

While Harry serves in the US Army, his brother Frank is drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army and is placed in a suicide unit, stationed in Kyushu. On August 6, 1945 the “Enola Gay”, a B-29 Superfortress dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the city where Harry and Frank’s mother and family are living, unleashing “a midnight in broad daylight.”

Rotner Sakamoto’s harrowing account of the Fukuhara family will keep the reader thoroughly engaged.

“I hope that readers will consider their own heritages,” says Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, “On some levels, this story could happen to many families with immigrant roots. I never imagined how frighteningly relevant it would be today about the dangers of scapegoating.”

“Midnight in Broad Daylight” touches upon the meaning of allegiance, identity and cultural heritage, ideas that are often at odds with each other in the wartime lives of the Fukuhara’s. Harry considers America to be his “authentic place in the universe,” yet, because of his Japanese heritage he is interned and discriminated against by his own country.

While in Japan, Frank is bullied and faces prejudice for being an American. After WW2, he renounces his Japanese citizenship and lives the rest of his life in Nagoya as an American permanent resident.

“For me, the lives of Harry and Frank represent an embrace of biculturalism,” says Rotner Sakamoto. “Both in Japan and America, they respected the other nation and tradition. They were truly global citizens before globalization became a trend.”

In “Midnight in Broad Daylight”, Pamela Rotner Sakamoto weaves a dramatic and compelling story that provides great historical insight into the hardships faced by Japanese Americans during WW2 and tells the story of how one family rose to overcome those obstacles.

Photo Via Harry Sakamoto

Click For More Information on Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s Book:

Midnight in Broad Daylight

midnight in broad daylight

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