Two Homelands
704pp. November 2007
Two Homelands
Author: Yamasaki, Toyoko; Translator: Morris, V. Dixon;
Two Homelands (Futatsu no sokoku) tells the powerful story of three brothers during the years surrounding World War II. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the Pacific War, relocation to Manzanar, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the Tokyo war crimes trials, we follow the lives of Kenji, Tadashi, and Isamu Amo, the California-born sons of Japanese immigrants. The eldest, Kenji, must grapple with what it means to belong to two nations at war with one another and to face betrayal by both. Tadashi, in school in Japan when war breaks out, is drafted into the Japanese army and renounces his U.S. citizenship. Later Kenji and Tadashi find themselves on opposite sides of a battlefield in the Philippines; although they both survive the conflict, their relationship is destroyed by the war. Isamu, the youngest and the most thoroughly American of the brothers, loves John Wayne movies and gives his life to rescue the lost Texas battalion fighting in France. Popular Japanese novelist Toyoko Yamasaki spent five years interviewing Japanese-Americans and researching documentary sources to assemble the raw material for her book. Through the story of the Amo family, she forces readers to confront the meaning of "love of country" as her characters encounter prejudice and suspicion on both sides of the Pacific. Almost a quarter century after its Japanese publication, this English-language translation affords a valuable opportunity to understand the postwar reassessment of what it means to be Japanese in the modern world.
A Latitude 20 Book
Author: Yamasaki, Toyoko; Translator: Morris, V. Dixon;
Toyoko Yamasaki was born in Osaka in 1924 and studied Japanese literature at Kyoto Women’s University before joining the Mainichi Shinbun. While working as a journalist she befriended the prominent writer Yasushi Inoue. After receiving training from Inoue, Yamasaki began to write novels, and upon winning the prestigious Naoki Prize, she left journalism to devote herself to literature. She is the best-selling author of more than a dozen novels, including Bonchi. Two Homelands was serialized as the NHK television drama Sanga Moyu (Mountains and Rivers Burning) in 1984.
Read Chapter 1 (PDF).
1. Jap

2. Camp

3. Sandstorm

4. Nisei

5. A Test of Humanity

6. The U.S. Army

7. Blood Proof

8. The Pacific

9. Two Battlefields

10. Brothers

11. Nippon

12. Monitor

13. Family

14. Witness

15. Pearl Harbor I

16. Pearl Harbor II

17. Washington Heights

18. Masked Court

19. Tojo

20. No More

21. Death by Hanging

22. Good-bye

Author’s Note on the Translation and Acknowledgments