Hamamura, John 1945-
HAMAMURA, John 1945-
(John Hideyo Hamamura)
Born 1945, in MN.
(With Susan Hamamura) Woven Works (nonfiction), Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1978.
Color of the Sea (novel), Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2006.
John Hamamura was born at the close of World War II in a U.S. Army hospital located in Minnesota. He grew up with an awareness of the plight of the Japanese and Japanese Americans during that period, because his father's family had lived in Hiroshima, and just two of them survived the atomic bomb; his mother's family had been interned during the war in a facility in southern Arkansas. Hamamura's early schooling took place in the small Americanized town of Grant Heights north of Tokyo, where his father was stationed and taught Japanese-American translators. Hamamura was fascinated with the fields beyond the town, where farmers stored rice and tools in small caves beneath the hills. His summer vacations at his grandmother's home put him less than three miles from where the bomb had fallen. His debut novel, Color of the Sea, grew out of his memories of his childhood, both the places he witnessed and the stories he overheard and later discussed with his family. The book follows a young Japanese teacher, who was born in Hawaii and raised in Japan and California, as he falls in love, and the effects of World War II on his life and relationships. A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote that the work shows "a real command of the relevant history and packs a great deal of it into several dense but lucid and accessible story lines." Carol Haggas, writing for Booklist, called Hamamura's effort an "ambitious coming-of-age novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2006, Carol Haggas, review of Color of the Sea, p. 27.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2006, review of Color of the Sea, p. 148.
Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Shirley N. Quan, review of Color of the Sea, p. 97.
Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2005, review of Color of the Sea, p. 36.
John Hamamura Home Page,http://www.johnhamamura.com (September 23, 2006).*