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Our House Divided Paperback – December 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0824817671 ISBN-10: 0824817672 Edition: Ill

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press; Ill edition (December 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824817672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824817671
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Knaefler utilized interviews published in 1966 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pearl Harbor to document the stories in Our House Divided . Fifty years ago, Japanese Americans were herded together, virtually imprisoned, and forced by the federal government to forfeit all vestiges of citizenship. Knaefler's family histories reflect the experiences of seven American families of Japanese descent who suffered from anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States. One of her selections, for example, follows the five Yempuku brothers, four of whom left Hawaii for Japan in 1933. Only the eldest, Ralph, remained, and he later served in the American Army during the war. Younger brother Donald relates how, during the surrender proceedings, he saw Ralph, yet could not speak with him. Donald did, however, inform the rest of the family that Ralph was still alive, as they had no word during the war. A solid contribution to our understanding of the ethnic mixture that is America, this is recommended for most libraries.
- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harry Eagar VINE VOICE on December 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For the Japanese in Hawaii, confusion and resentment were common reactions on Dec. 7, 1941. But for a few, there was extra anguish -- they had immediate family members in Japan or they were targeted as dangerous aliens by the FBI and by evening they were being arrested.

Sixty-five years later, there is a great deal of confusion and mythologizing about this, because two separate issues are conflated. First is loyalty. Second is treatment of a suspect group.

Despite shameful treatment, the Japanese in America were overwhelmingly loyal to the United States. For many, this required a split personality. Tomi Knaefler presents the example of a Japanese immigrant, denied citizenship in Hawaii, who remained loyal to Japan but admonished her sons, born in Hawaii and American citizens, to be loyal to the United States.

In an immigrant nation, the problem of divided loyalties was, and still is, usual; but, perhaps because only Japan attacked American territory, the situation of the Japanese Americans is treated as odd or unique.

In order to understand the situation of the Japanese, it is useful to recall that Irish-Americans commonly supported Germany and Austria-Hungary against Britain in World War I. Or that the most opinionated journalist in our history, H.L. Mencken, never had a word to say about World War I or II, evidently because his sentimental ties to Germany were too strong. Or that the reason pre-1941 isolationism was strongest in the upper Midwest was that Germans and Scandinavians admired Hitler for rebuilding German state power.

Furthermore, the American persecution of enemy aliens or their descendants was not unique to the Japanese. In 1917, the German-owned H.
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By Mike Morrison on May 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
A unique and revealing analysis of anti-government movements and continued racial prejudices existing in the United States even today, that stem in part from the old South and it's economic dependency on slavery.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very important book which I will cherish and keep for my kids. I will always promote this book to people that are interested in the history of Japanese American's in America and Japan during WWII. The experiance that these seven families have gone through is unbelievible and could not be imagined. It makes me proud to be an American.
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