The land of the rising sun . . .
. . . Or the land of the free
Their survival hinges on his choice
Like any other American man, all Tom Sakai wants is a good life and a decent job. But in 1941, a Nisei son of Japanese immigrants could never be American enough. Frustrated, he leaves Seattle, his hometown. He sets out to sea, searching for his place in the world.
In Manila, he meets his soulmate, Fumiko, a Nisei from Los Angeles with a heartbreaking past. Together, they begin a new life, leaving behind the path of prejudice they walked at home.
Until the Pearl Harbor attack shatters their dreams.
Their dual identity now forces them to take a side. The wrong choice could cost them their lives.
Stranded in occupied territory, Tom must now decide where his loyalty lies. Should he swear his allegiance to Imperial Japan, the instigator of war and violence?
Or America, the country that deserted him when the world’s darkest hour begins?
As a boy, I remember our war games were always against the Japanese or Germans. I harbored a definite dislike for the people who had initially bombed us. I felt self-righteous indignation towards both nationalities but particularly the Japanese. Then I was stationed in Japan on my first tour of duty in the navy and discovered quite a revelation.
Tomio Sakai is a second-generation American of Japanese descent who is marooned in the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His parents were sent to an internment camp for the duration of the war. The Japanese had been denied citizenship during the 30s and although Tomio was born in America he had received real prejudice from the people in Seattle because of his heritage.
In the Philippines, he is commandeered by the Japanese to help interrogate and spy upon the U.S. military. General MacArthur had promised to return. But when? Nisei or second-generation U.S. Japanese were considered viable spy conscripts. Therefore, they were segregated and treated poorly. Japan considered them Japanese citizens no matter where they lived. Tomio and his lady friend Fumiko work for the Japanese as disaffected American citizens.
This well-written story points out the prejudice encountered by second-generation Japanese-Americans. Stranded in foreign occupied countries, they were disillusioned by their treatment and the encampment segregation of their families. As with many of them who discover they have no choice, Tomio and Fumiko become embroiled in a class struggle. They do not see America as supportive of them or their families as citizens.
I felt sympathy for these characters recalling my time in Japan and my initial prejudice and animosity towards that country. An engrossing and entertaining read, atmospheric, with strong characterization. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Historical Japanese Fiction, Historical Asian Fiction, Historical World War II Fiction
Publisher: Lakewood Press
Print Length: 438 pages
Publication Date: January 22, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Last Night with Tokyo Rose [Amazon]
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The Author: Alexa Kang is an author of WWII and 20th century historical fiction. Her works include the novel series “Rose of Anzio”, an epic love story that begins in 1940 Chicago and continues on to the historic Battle of Anzio in Italy; and the “Shanghai Story” trilogy, a saga chronicling the events in Shanghai leading up to WWII and the history of Jews and Jewish refugees in China. Her current work, the “Nisei War Series”, is a collection of stories about second-generation Japanese-Americans in war situations around the world during WWII. Alexa’s other works include the WWII/1980s time-travel love story “Eternal Flame” (a tribute to John Hughes), as well as various short stories, including those in the fiction anthologies “The Darkest Hour” (a USA Today Bestseller”), “Pearl Harbor and More: Stories of December 1942”, “Christmas in Love”, and “Wartime Christmas Tales”.
You can sign up for Alexa’s newsletter for new release announcements, sales, and special content at her website: http://alexakang.com/newsletter
You can also contact Alexa and her team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexa grew up in New York City and has traveled to more than 150 cities, and she loves to explore new places and different cultures. She loves writing larger-than-life love stories and 20th century historical fiction, and hopes to bring you many more.
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams