Gene Oishi, Author
Gene Oishi is a former journalist and the author of two books dealing with the internment of West-Coast Japanese and their American-born children during WWII.
A memoir, In Search of Hiroshi, to be re-issued in 2023 in an enhanced edition, and a novel, Fox Drum Bebop. Both books explore the long-term personal, generational and societal effects of this traumatic event.
In Search of Hiroshi (Tuttle &Co., 1988 - presently out of print) and Fox Drum Bebop (Kaya Press, 2014)
In Search of Hiroshi explores the long-term personal, generational and societal effects of the internment as a memoir that follows the protagonist from a pre-war farming community to camp life and through the stages of recovering from the trauma and claiming a place in his birth country that had rejected him and destroyed his community.
(Tuttle &Co., 1988 - presently out of print) and Fox Drum Bebop (Kaya Press, 2014)
Fox Drum Bebop explores the long-term personal, generational and societal effects of the internment as a novel that follows the protagonist from a pre-war farming community to camp life and through the stages of recovering from the trauma and claiming a place in his birth country that had rejected him and destroyed his community.
In Search of Hiroshi
The Journey Continues
by Gene Oishi
New, enhanced edition, published by Kaya Press. 2023
The author gives his take on three decades of American history that have passed since the publication of the original book, with a focus on the continued undercurrent of racism that led to the internment of his family and 110,000 others of Japanese descent during WW!!
REVIEWS & PRESS
“A fine novel about a sad chapter in American history: our treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two. Oishi knows whereof he speaks, and he speaks of it eloquently indeed.” — John Barth
IN SEARCH OF HIROSHI
Shared experiences w Hiroshi
Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2002 / Verified Purchase
This book is a docu-fiction which depicts the experience of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during world war II. It shows the family structure and also the psychology impacts later on. Very well written and enjoyable.
IN SEARCH OF HIROSHI
I enjoyed reading this memoir for a couple of reasons
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2015 / Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this memoir for a couple of reasons. I grew up in Northern California where several American born Japanese families were uprooted and sent to relocation camps, losing their thriving fruit orchards. I remember the racist feelings and public propaganda of the time. A decade later I did my basic army training at Ft. Ord where a few years later, Mr. Oishi did his. His memory of the training camp entirely matched mine.
FOX DRUM BEBOP
Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2015
A well written and poignant book that tells the story and multiplicited effects of a young boy who grows into manhood facing the effects of spending his childhood as an American born citizen, age 9, placed in a concentration camp during WWII, due to his Japanese heritage. Mr. Oishi traces the complex effects of these experiences on himself, his parents and siblings,and the community he grew up in, aandd the ongoing effects as he grows into manhood. An important, touching story that is told with pain, humor,self reflection and honesty. A story that must not be forgotten, and must continue to educate us about how we judge, and stereotype others, and the high cost it instills.
FOX DRUM BEBOP
A Powerfully Told Tale
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2015
One of the most comprehensive depictions of west coast Japanese Americans during the internment era and after that I have read. Gene Oishi has captured the complexities of the Japanese American communities of that era and the long-term effect of the internment on their families and communities. A powerfully told tale.
FOX DRUM BEBOP
Book Reviews: January 2015
The latest from Gene Oishi, Martine Rothblatt, and Jess Row.
By John Lewis | January 2015
For most Americans, the term “concentration camp” conjures images from Germany and Poland during World War II and refers to tragic events that happened far away across the Atlantic. But the term hits home for Gene Oishi, a former Sun foreign correspondent, who grew up in a concentration camp in Arizona. Oishi and his family, like most Japanese-Americans, were “evacuated” from their home and incarcerated in a desert camp soon after Pearl Harbor. A fictionalized account of that experience informs practically every page of this novel, as Oishi considers its effect on various family members—especially his protagonist, Hiroshi (or “Hiro”)—over four decades. The once tight-knit group splinters as various family members struggle with issues relating to self-determination and national identity. Ultimately, the hero here is Oishi, who memorably portrays and personalizes an aspect of American history that is too often neglected.