Pamela Rotner Sakamoto Reading

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s Midnight in Broad Daylight is the sweeping and true tale of a Japanese-American family divided, fighting on opposite sides in World War II and suffering tragedy when the United States bombed Hiroshima in 1941. “This is an American story of immigrants and somewhat like a Civil War story, with brothers at war,” Sakamoto said in a phone interview last week. Saint Martin’s University and the Lacey Timberland Library teamed up to bring the author and historian to Lacey for free discussions Thursday.

The critically praised book begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and traces the lives of the five Fukuhara siblings, all born in the Seattle area after their parents emigrated from Japan. When their father died, the siblings’ mother moved with them back to Hiroshima, her hometown. Two, Harry and Mary, returned to the United States in the 1930s and spent time in internment camps during the war. Harry went later joined the U.S. military, risking his life as a translator and going on to a long and distinguished military career. Their brothers in Japan faced induction into the Imperial Army. Not all survived the war.

“I met Harry by chance, and I was astonished by the bare-bones outline of the story,” Sakamoto said. “I later realized that while it is an unusual story, it is not unique. It is one frame of the many visuals that make up the Japanese-American experience.” Her research uncovered many reports of Japanese-American soldiers traveling to Japan to look for relatives and friends after the bombings.

What: book discussion with Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

Where: Lacey Timberland Library,
500 College St. SE, Lacey

When: 2 p.m. Thursday, April 27

How much: free

Learn more: 360-491-3860 | TRL


What: An Evening With Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

Where: Norman Worthington Conference Center,
Saint Martin’s University,
5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27

How much: free

Learn more: 360-491-3860 | TRL

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