- About the Book
No other writer has attempted such a broad view of the nisei experience in Hawai‘i as Milton Murayama.
In Plantation Boy, the third novel in a planned tetralogy that includes the highly popular All I Asking for Is My Body and Five Years on a Rock, eldest son Toshio narrates the continuing story of the Oyama family.
Outspoken, proud, determined, passionate: Tosh is the voice of the rebel that authority seeks to silence; he is the proverbial “protruding nail” that Japanese tradition seeks to flatten. His fight is against not only his family’s poverty and the environment that keeps them oppressed, but also his own plantation-boy mentality.
His struggles are set against the cataclysmic events of World War II—the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese Americans, the heroism of the 100th and 442nd in Europe, the atrocities committed by the Japanese army in Asia—and the social and political upheavals in Hawai‘i.
Here is a powerful work about Japanese in Hawai‘i that shows us more than stereotypes. By illuminating Tosh’s life, Murayama evokes a family and a community and, brilliantly, a critical vision of culture, of language, and of history itself.