I enjoyed this book about post WWII Japanese life, mostly about one character, Ichiro, who went to prison rather than serve in the U.S. Army.
Ichiro is out from two years in internment camp, then two years prison for not enlisting in the war. It's a sad story. John Okada's description of San Francisco during the time is realistic. An early Asian American classic.
This book should be mandatory reading for Asian-American studies majors. Very sad, written with such emotion. You can really sense the anger and despair of the protagonist.
At the end of WWII, the Japanese-Americans interned during the war were released to return to their former homes and pick up their shattered lives. Veterans returned to their families. And those who refused to be drafted into the armed forces while their families were incarcerated for the "crime" of having Japanese ancestry were also released from the prisons they'd occupied during the war years. These "no-no boys" faced ongoing internal--as well as familial and community--conflicts. This is the first Asian American novel published in the U.S., and the first to examine the tensions and pressures within the Issei and Nisei during the war and afterwards. Its author died shortly after its publication.