No Quiet Water
by Shirley Miller Kamada
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Pub Date 05 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 11 Apr 2023
After the U.S. declares war on Japan in 1941, all persons of Japanese descent in the Western U.S. come under suspicion. Curfews are imposed, bank accounts frozen, and FBI agents search homes randomly.
Despite the fact that two generations of the Miyota family are American citizens, 10-year-old Fumio, his parents and sister Kimiko are transported under military escort from their farm on Bainbridge Island to the California desert Camp Manzanar. The Miyotas leave the care of their farm and dog Flyer, to their good friends and neighbors the Whitlocks.
Fumio and his family suffer unimaginable insults, witness prejudice and violent protests, are forced to live in squalor, and are provided only poor-quality, unfamiliar food which makes them ill. Later, they are transferred to Idaho’s Camp Minidoka, where Fumio learns what it means to endure and where he discovers a new world of possibility and belonging.
Lyrical, visual, and rendered with strict attention to historical accuracy, NO QUIET WATER shines a poignant light on current issues of racism and radical perspectives.
“With rich abundant details of what daily life was like inside a U.S. internment camp during WWII, No Quiet Water is a poignant, touching story of an adolescent boy and his loyal dog that travels hundreds of miles to be with him.” —Alden Hayashi, author of Two Nails, One Love.
“A lovingly-told story about a boy and his dog, set within the context of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II. Shirley Miller Kamada’s book serves as an introduction for a wide range of readers to this dark chapter of American history. While a work of fiction, it is grounded in the author’s archival research to describe the places many once tried to forget.” —Barbara Johns, PhD, author of Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist: An Issei Artist’s Journey
"Kamada’s debut novel chronicles the Miyota family’s imprisonment at two West Coast internment camps in the 1940s.
A well-plotted and engaging historical novel." —Kirkus Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
5 stars, Tragically sad
NO QUIET WATER
by Shirley Miller Kamada
This story is a unique look at the lives of Japanese Americans during WWII who were wrongfully treated as criminals and placed in internment camps after the fleet at Pearl Harbor was destroyed. I liked how the story followed young Fumio, 10, and his family and also had the narration of Fumio's beloved dog Flyer describing his life and being separated from his young owner.
The author pulled the inspiration for this book from her own family's history, her husband and his brother were both born in one of the internment camps.
I think of how hard it must have been to be uprooted from your home and all you know to be thrust into a prison camp and treated like a criminal when you have done nothing wrong. Tragically sad.
I received a complimentary copy of #noquietwater from #blackrosewriting and #netgalley I was under no obligation to post a review. #historicalfiction #WWII #JapaneseInternmentCamps #favoritebooks #bibliophile #reviewer #washingtonState #California #Idaho #dog #sheep #chickens #strawberryfarmers #PearlHarbor #BainbridgeIslandWashington #JapaneseAmericans
Injustice reigned in America during the 1942 - 1945 years at the behest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. World War II struck on multiple planes, one of which was the internment of hundreds of thousands of American-Born Japanese, interned because there might be one spy in the haystack. These mostly law-abiding US citizens, who had nothing in their hearts of the country of Japan's war schemes, were herded in droves to these camps that had been slapped together without proper care; conditions were often primitive.
This historical fiction story, No Quiet Water, traces the wonderful Miyota family and their dog Flyer who also had wonderful neighbors who helped and supported them during their years of incarceration, first in a California "facility," and then one in Idaho. Their grace, endurance and perseverance without bitterness, despite the deplorable conditions, was amazing. Fumio was an amazing half-grown boy who really did the best he could. The dog Flyer adds many tender moments.
The book is based on the author's relatives' account as well as researched sources, some of which you will see listed at book end. Although I have heard of the interments before, this was still an enlightening read. Therefore, I believe all Americans would do well to read this valuable account and learn positive lessons from it.
~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~
Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.
The attack on Pearl Harbor sent all of the United States into turmoil. All citizens of Asian heritage were considered probable enemies. The Chinese were allies during the war and therefore exempt from this prejudice.
On Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle, Washington, young Fumio Miyota and his best friend Zachary worked his father’s strawberry fields.
Fumio and his family are transported to Camp Manzanar. Even those families whose sons volunteered to join the armed forces were not spared this indignity. Fumio’s dog Flyer is left on the island with his friend Zachary.
The Miyota family is then transferred from California to Camp Minidoka near Rupert, Idaho. Minidoka was a town that sprung up during the building of the transcontinental railroad and had burned to the ground more than once. The camp was in the middle of the Snake River Plain high desert but the family made the best of this awful situation.
The author writes a very emotive story of the plight of Japanese Americans during WWII. The high desert is inhospitable; the camps are thrown together with green lumber and tar paper. The ever-present desert wind blows fine volcano grit over everything.
An interesting and sympathetic look at a sad period of history—well-written and engaging. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
I enjoyed this read very much. It is the first book I have read about the interment camps in the US during WW2. Although fiction it is based on much research and conversations with those who experienced it. It is very well written and an easy read.
While I have read another book about the internment of Japanese USA citizens after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, I have never read a book which is from a dog's point of view.
Shirley Miller Kamada writes this story of Fumio Miyota and his dog Flyer, tapping into the first hand accounts of her husbands families experiences ....he was born in such a camp, many of which spung up, mostly on the West Coast of the USA.
Detainees were removed from the land, which the rightfully owned and toiled on to make a living. Trained and bused far away, to extremely basic camps, they could only retain scant possessions.
Fumio has to leave his dog companion Flyer behind with the neighbours. He is such a clever dog and does adjust well...learning new skills and being an asset to the Whitlocks. But he misses Fumio so much, he finally sets off on an epic journey across the barren country to find Fumio...carrying his baseball mat in his mouth.
Meanwhile Fumio's family are also learning new skills and doing what they can to survive with just the basics in the camps, moving from California to slightly closer to home Idaho.
Throughout both storylines we meet the best of people. Willing to help in what little way they can in this depressed wartime. Such a sharp contrast to the senseless, naive racism that sent anyone vaguely of Japanese heritage to effectively a prison camp.
This is a sympathetic take on the happenings at the camps....nothing very "bad" happenings, although the rumblings of discontent are eluded too. Such an interesting narrative of a time I am sure many Americans are now embarrassed by.
Thanks to NetGalley, Shirley Miller Kamada and Black Rose Writing for my copy.