A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War

Book - 2001
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Louise Steinman's father never talked about his experiences in the Pacific during WWII-like many men of his generation. All she knew was that a whistling kettle unnerved him, that Asian food was banned from the house, and that she was never to cry in front of him.

After her parents' deaths, Steinman discovered a box containing some four hundred letters her father had written to her mother during the war. Among the letters, she found a Japanese flag inscribed with elegant calligraphy. The flag said: "To Yoshio Shimizu given to him in the Great East Asian War to be fought to the end. If you believe in it, you win." Intrigued by her father's letters and compelled to know how this flag came to be in his possession, Steinman sets out on a quest to learn what happened to her father and the men of his Twenty-fifth Infantry Division.

Over the course of her exploration, Steinman decides to return the flag to the family of Yoshio Shimizu, the fallen Japanese soldier. She travels to the snow country of Japan and visits the battlefield in the Philippines where her father's division fought-the place where Yoshio lost his life and his flag. In the end, Steinman discovers a side of her father she never knew, and, astonishingly, she develops a kinship with the surviving family of his enemy.

Weaving together her father's letters with the story of her own personal journey, Steinman presents a powerful view of how war changed one generation and shaped another.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill : 2001
ISBN: 9781565123106
Branch Call Number: 940.5426 St36s
Characteristics: 241p


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Aug 04, 2017

...a very important book. A dramatic reminder of how the horrors of war affect not just the combatants but their families as well. (from) michael traynor, Burlingame Ca

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