History Book Review

Book Review
NO-NO BOY, a novel by John Okada, tells the story of a young Japanese American, Ichiro. The story takes place after the Japanese attack on America. The aftermaths of the attack are seen in the story of Ichiro and his family. After the attack Ichiro is faced with choosing which side he wants to fight for; the country he was born in, The United States, or the country of his heritage, Japan. He refuses to join the US Army and doesn’t pledge his allegiance to the United States. This gives him the nick - name of NO-NO boy. He is then put into an internment camp for two years and is sentenced to prison for two years because of his refusal to join the US Army. He returns home to his father, mother, and brother with an uncertainty of his own identity. This book allows the reader to see three points of view, the Japanese that fought for America, the one that doesn’t identify with either side, and the Japanese that identified with their Japanese heritage.
According to the book, after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese in America were forced into internment camps, enlist in the army, or put into jail. Ichiro made the decision to not enlist into the army, a decision that he would later on regret. He was a Japanese born on American soil, so he did not know which side to identify with and fight for. His parents can identify with their Japanese roots while he doesn’t know which side to choose. When Ichiro comes back from prison, he is faced with the Japanese that decided to fight for America and spit in his face, a little brother that despises him for not taking America’s side and a mother who believes that Japan won the war.
Ichiro’s friend Kenji fought in the war on America’s side. Although Kenji was able to choose a side to fight for, he was still hit with his own dilemas about the war. The government gave Kenji a new car, money for his education, and pension benefits for the leg he lost in the war. Kenji was not faced with problems with his identity yet he...