Five College Consortium

Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS)

Smith College: February 14, 12:00om, Lewis Global Studies Center

Amherst College: February 14, 4:00pm, Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
Reception to follow in Mullins and Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Commons

The Five College Center for East Asian Studies welcomes Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, Amherst College ’84, to Smith College and Amherst College on February 14 to discuss her book Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds. Published in 2016 by HarperCollins, it has been critically acclaimed by book reviewers and award-winning authors. The publisher’s description of the work is below.

Sakamoto's appearance at Smith College is being hosted and cosponsored by the Lewis Global Studies Center at Noon as a part of their Global Books series. 

Sakamoto's talk at Amherst College, scheduled in conjunction with the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, is titled Commemorating the Day of Remembrance: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds. It will be on Feb. 14 at 4pm in Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall and will be followed by a reception. This talk is cosponsored by American Studies at Amherst College. Thanks for your help in spreading the word about these two talks. I hope to see many of you there!

Midnight in Broad Daylight

“Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.—Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.

As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.

Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.”

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