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Rising Sons: The Japanese American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II Hardcover – July 10, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

More than 21,000 Japanese-American men and women volunteered for service in the U.S. armed forces in World War II, with more than 9,000 receiving Purple Hearts and 21 holding the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. decoration for bravery. Yenne (Superfortress, etc.) shows that many were patriots, who put duty above grievance while wondering if the country whose uniform they wore would ever accept them again. In Hawaii, Japanese-American reaction to Pearl Harbor was near-effervescent loyalty to the U.S., leading to the organization of the famous 100th Infantry Battalion, half of whose original officers were nisei. Their mainland counterparts volunteered from detention centers in numbers sufficient to form the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Without overlooking persistent racism in both Hawaiian and mainland versions, Yenne highlights the good sense and good will that emerged once the shock of Pearl Harbor wore off. Chief of Staff George C. Marshall spoke for American society as a whole when in May 1942 he declared, I don't think you can permanently proscribe a lot of American citizens because of their racial origins. (July)
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From Booklist

After Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were confronted with the question of which side they were on. The majority of the Nisei and the Kibei (the latter were U.S. born but educated in part or wholly in Japan) were as willing to fight for the U.S. as other citizens, even when their families were interned. They and their families felt their honor lay in serving and serving well. And they did, in combat in both theaters (especially in the much-decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team), as translators, and as military intelligence agents. Yenne's readable, anecdotal style realistically depicts life in combat and on the home front. The fact that Yenne interviewed a number of the surviving Japanese American veterans after the long-delayed presentation in 2000 of Medals of Honor and Presidential Unit Citations raises both the cachet and the credibility of a book not just for students but of broad general interest. Murray, Frieda

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312354649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312354640
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most dramatic stories in American history: Japanese-Americans, deprived of their rights and property, tossed into internment camps throughout the U.S., who nonetheless volunteered to fight in the ugliest battles of WWII. Men who ultimately served in the most decorated unit in military history. But Yenne's book captures little of this drama, nor does he give us any real insights into the men who served.

What we get is a dry recitation of the facts--the 442nd attacked here, this translator decoded this key message there--with much of the material culled from official citations and similar sources. Another lapse: few author-conducted interviews with those who served. Still another: the book gives scant coverage to what the men went through during training, the conflicts between the Hawaiian and mainland Japanese-American soldiers, and the prejudice they encountered from white officers and civilians. Even Masayo Duus' "Unlikely Liberators" (a book suffering from its own flaws) gives readers this story in proper measure.

At best, this book is an adequate introduction to the topic. But if you want the real story about the men and women who "fought not only the enemy, but...fought prejudice--and...won" (in Harry Truman's words), look elsewhere. (One recommendation: "Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad" by Robert Asahina)

A postscript: I've discovered two books on the topic that are well worth the price. The first is Senator Daniel Inouye's moving memoir of his time with the 442nd and beyond--"Journey To Washington". The other is Eric Muller's "Free to Die for Their Country"--an examination of the "no no" boys and other Nisei who resisted the draft and fought their own battle for equal rights.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Theirs is a Story of fighting against prejudice and the ennemy, as often when your skin colour is not white. The sons of Japanese immigrants were stripped of their rights as citizens and humans during World War II in the USA. Their families lost all possessions and were forced into primitive internment camps, yet they demanded to fight for their Country, like all other men. They were finally granted this right and became some of the best soldiers, their regiments received presidential citations and a ton of Medals of Honour.
It is an interesting read with Details of People, battles, campaigns. It Shows the difficulties they overcame, the stupid army and navy brass who took time to use their knowledge. And it tells you what I know: No matter where your parents came from or where you were born, it is the Country you grow up in which defines you. They were called Nisei, but they were Americans.
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Format: Hardcover
The "preface" of this book starts out talking about the California Highway 99. I grew up as a 3rd generation Japanese-American riding my first bike to watch the cars go up and down this Highway, known as "99".

This is the "right" time for me to read this book, and understand that Senator Daniel Inoyue came from a FARMING family on the island of Kaui. Then going to High School in a very segregated Oahu. The "white" kids went to one high school and the Japanese-Americans went to another school. Daniel, joined the ROTC in High School. ( Is that even possible today ?....)

I only remember Reserve Officer Training Cadets in my classes at Fresno State in the 1970's.

Read the history of the 442nd, and why did the swearing in ceremonies for Daniel Inoyue, the Sargent of Arms, asked Senator Inoyue to raise his RIGHT hand. (Dummy it was lost in WWII...)

Read this book.
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The author presents the information in a manner that is not only historical but personal. The book is an easy read and will give the reader insight as to what some of our soldiers, both Japanese and others, experienced.
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