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No-No Boy

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 6 months ago

No-No Boy



No-No is a novel published in 1957 by author John Okada, his only complete work.

A Brief Synopsis

In the novel, the story line covers the changes in the life of Ichiro, a young japanese american man who due to the chiding of his mother, refuses to serve in the army during World War II, and spends two years in prison instead. The novel deals with his internal emotions and struggles as he returns home to his family and the clash of two very different cultures, and the strain of finding himself in a culture that seems to have rejected him. The novel deals with the feelings of what it is to be japanese american in the time of World War II.


Acceptance of No-No Boy in Japanese American Communities

Although No-No Boy is considered a classic work of Asian American literature now, It was largely rejected in Japanese communities when it was first released in 1957. It seemed to reject what back then was considered a "model miority" , showing the uncertainity and divisions that were present in the Japanese comunity at the close of World War II. Okada's depiction of the great divisions within the Japanese community were not welcome. This novel too well depicted the harsh acceptance of the happenings of World War II, and showed a side of the Japanese community that had never been seen before. Also, it was assumed that the effects of 9066 (establishment of Internment camps) were still to present to fully accept the novel. The book dealt with post-war life in such an uncensored way , that it was considered to raw for people at the time to handle. Ichiro's story of internal struggle to deal with his post-war life and the issues of his family seemed to hit to close to home for many.Okada never lived to see the positive light his only finished work would be seen in in later years.

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