East Wind, Rain: A Novel

by Caroline Paul | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0060780762 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winghyphen8wing of Honolulu, Hawaii USA on 1/22/2012
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, January 22, 2012
Based on the disturbing true "Niihau incident": in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor a Japanese Zero pilot crash-landed on the tiny isolated island of Niihau. Ultimately the island's three non-native Hawaiian occupants, all of Japanese ancestry, tried to assist the pilot in his mission to destroy his papers and plane before they could fall into American hands.

As presented in this novel, the actions of the Haradas are an example of what isolation, resentment, and fear can do: the islanders were cut off from outside information and had no clear idea of what was happening elsewhere. As a result, the Japanese-American Haradas (born in Hawaii) believed the pilot when he told them that the Japanese Navy would be landing soon. Both Yoshio and Irene believed that they had always been viewed as different by the native Hawaiians on the island, and Yoshio had memories of harsh treatment by Americans from his time in California. All of these things were factors in their difficult decision to try to save themselves and their young child by helping the pilot complete his mission. Ultimately they choose what they saw as self-preservation rather than counting on what they saw as uncertain support from the US government. I don't agree with the Haradas' choices, but the novel tries to give a fair depiction of why they did what they did - they are presented as human beings in a complicated situation rather than cardboard cutout traitors, and I appreciate that.

As a 4th-generation Japanese-American (my great-grandparents were from Japan), this particular incident has always been an uncomfortable subject for me: it's much easier to focus on the camps and the military heroes of the war. My maternal great-grandfather was interned during WWII - possibly in part due to the actions of the Haradas and Mr. Shintani; but a number of my relatives served in the US military during or shortly after the war. My parents certainly grew up feeling that they were Americans, and I never got the impression that their parents felt any differently - my grandfather went to the mainland as a young man before the war, but he must have had a better experience than Yoshio did, because it didn't make him bitter or angry.

In the end, I'm glad I read this book and learned more about the incident, but I found it unsettling. It *was* good to learn more about the history of Niihau and what life was like there; it's still fairly isolated but I think the population there must have shifted a little over the years. When I was in high school I remember meeting a couple of kids from Niihau who were going to high school on Kauai but they didn't look 100% Hawaiian to me - there seemed to be some Asian in the mix.

Here's another copy on my shelf.

Journal Entry 2 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (1/22/2012 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Went home from our TOC Chinese New Year lunch with someone else. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 3 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, October 16, 2016
This is not an ordinary book: it's a BookCrossing book! BookCrossing books are world travelers - they like to have adventures and make new friends...and every once in a while they even write home to say what they've been doing.

☻ ☻ ☻

This book was found in the library of Purple58, a very special woman whom I was fortunate enough to meet through our BookCrossing group, the Table of Contents.

Fiercely independent, with a loving heart and a wicked sense of humor, she was passionate about the things she believed in and was willing to stand up and be counted when necessary. She was truly a one of a kind individual, and she will be missed by all of her many friends...who prefer to believe that she's off in Vegas, having a fabulous time and eating as many desserts as she wants.

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Kewalo Basin Net Shed in Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, October 16, 2016

Released 2 yrs ago (10/30/2016 UTC) at Kewalo Basin Net Shed in Honolulu, Hawaii USA


To be released Saturday, October 29, at the Happy Holly-Day party.

This book is released in memory of BookCrosser purple58, who wanted all of her books to find good homes after she was gone. Please feel free to read it, keep it, pass it on...whatever you wish. If you have something to say about the book, or a memory to share about Holly, please feel free to post it here: she was never shy about sharing her opinions, so she wouldn't expect any less.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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