Raised in Japan and Hawaii, Sam Hamada has been trained in the ways of the samurai. After graduation Sam strikes out for California and falls in love for the first time, with a beautiful young woman named Keiko. But then the Japanese attack Peal Harbor, igniting the war and making Sam, Keiko, and their families enemies of the state.
Drafted into the U.S. Army, sent on a secret mission, Sam’s very identity both puts his life at risk and gives him the strength he needs to survive. Taking us from the lush Hawaiian Islands of the 1930s to the wartime world of madness in Hiroshima, Color of the Sea is the unforgettable story of one Japanese boy’s coming-of-age.
“True and truly felt. Hamamura has produced a valuable corrective to an often one-sided view of Japan and Japanese Americans during the war years.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"Through beautifully written prose, artful imagery and achingly real characters, John Hamamura sweeps his reader away to a time in history that shook the world and a love story that will resonate long after the final page." —Asian American Press
"This fine novel reminds us that we risk paying a terrifying price if we ignore the lessons of history—and their human consequences." —David Maine, author of The Preservationist and Fallen
WINNER 2007 - ALA Alex Award
SUBMITTED 2007 - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
John Hamamura was born in the final year of WWII in a U.S. Army hospital in Minnesota. His father was a GI Japanese language instructor. His mother's family was behind barbed wire at a camp in southern Arkansas. His father's mother and siblings lived in Hiroshima; two of them survived the atomic bomb. He lives in Oakland, California and Color of the Sea is his first book.