A man ahead of his time, Japanese college professor Masao Takashimaya of Kyoto had a passion for modern ideas that was as strong as his wife's belief in ancient traditions. His eighteen-year-old daughter Hiroko, torn between her mother's traditions and her father's wishes, boarded the SS Nagoya Maru to come to California for an education and to make her father proud. I was August 1941.
From the ship, she went to the Palo Alto home of her uncle, Takeo, and his family. To Hiroko, California was a different world. Her cousins had become more American than Japanese. And much to Hiroko's surprise, Peter Jenkins, her uncle's assistant at Stanford, became an unexpected link between her old world and her new.
On December 7, Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese. Within hours, war is declared and suddenly Hiroko has become an enemy in a foreign land.
On February 19, Executive Order 9066 is signed by President Roosevelt, giving military the power to remove the Japanese from their communities at will. Takeo and his family are given ten days to sell their home, give up their jobs, and report to a relocation center, along with thousands of other Japanese and Japanese Americans, to face their destinies there. Families are divided, people are forced to abandon their homes, their businesses, their freedom, and their lives.