Sunday, February 10, 2013

One Book One City Continues

~~ Dan King, during the presentation ~~

Yesterday, I attended a One Book One City event at the Sierra Madre Public Library.  In our city's 2013 book choice, "Unbroken," Air Force crewman Louis Zamperini, survives a plane crash in the Pacific and is captured and held prisoner by the Japanese. 

Yesterday's presentation was by historian Dan King (website), author of "The Last Zero Fighter."  Mr. King earned a degree in Japanese Language from Cal State L.A., and worked for Toyota for fifteen years, living in Japan for ten of those years.  His talk, and the subsequent Q & A, gave readers of "Unbroken" even more to think about. 

As research for his book, Mr. King was able to interview several surviving Japanese Navy pilots and airmen (only one of whom is still living), in their own language.  His presentation gave a very interesting "two sides to a coin" history of the Japanese pilots, from the time they joined the navy, through to the end of the war.  A very eye-opening and  thought-provoking morning.  I look forward to reading Mr. King's book.



12 comments:

  1. I am going to have to put this book on my list. The story of Japanese pilots fighting in the Pacific resonates quite a lot as the Pearl Harbor attack in Hawaii set off WWII for the U.S. and it is something so many in the islands still talked about throughout my childhood (though many who remember it first-hand well are now gone). What a wonderful event. Thank you for highlighting this.

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    1. Oh, something interesting I meant to tell you... :) He also mentioned that the Japanese pilots and crewman were very ashamed of the fact that they had been told a formal declaration of war had been delivered, prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were unaware that they were involved in a sneak attack, and it was very, very disturbing to them that it turned out to be just that.

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  2. I love bookstore and library events.

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    1. Oh, so do I! Nothing better than sitting in the audience while the author talks about their work, then getting (my very favorite!) their signature on the book!

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  3. This sounds truly fascinating. My parents both had WWII stories (my father served in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor). There is always another point of view.

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    1. Isn't that the truth. We are going to have to talk - my dad served in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor, too! Wouldn't it be something if they knew each other... He spent much of the war, sitting it out in Hawaii, just in case the Japanese came back. Following the war, he went in to Japan. Mr. King talked about how grateful the citizens of Japan were, for the way they were treated by the American soldiers. That made me feel proud of my Pops.

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    2. That's kind of what my dad was doing in Hawaii. He had been trained as a paratrooper and expected to ship to Japan, then (the way he described it), "they found out I could type and stuck me in an office." He was a supply sergeant for the rest of the war.

      Let's research this and find out if they might have known each other. It's possible.

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    3. Absolutely. I think it's possible, too.

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    4. Do you think your dad would remember? My dad's name was Waldo. A name like Waldo...

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  4. I did try to ask him last night, and he said he thought the name certainly sounded familiar. That's about as far as I could get. He's not too well, and I was so pleased that we had the conversation. He really enjoyed reminiscing... Meanwhile, I'll keep searching for info on Ancestry.com.

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  5. I wish I were there, too! I used to love this kind of events back in college. I studied Journalism and loved to go to book clubs and having discussion. I wonder how it is like in US.

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    1. Probably very similar, Yumi! Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena has a lot of book readings and signings by authors, as well as book clubs, too!

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