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49 review for Rising Son: A US Soldier's Secret and Heroic Role in World War II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz V.

    Received through Goodreads. During WWII, a small number of men of Japanese ancestry were trained as interpreters/interrogators (MIS) and deployed with units in the PTO. The men were forbidden, for 30 years, from talking about their work and the burdens that they faced. In addition to facing the enemy, the men were under threat from some of their fellow servicemen, including distrustful officers. As well, their families were in some cases interned and their homes and businesses lost. Unlike the 44 Received through Goodreads. During WWII, a small number of men of Japanese ancestry were trained as interpreters/interrogators (MIS) and deployed with units in the PTO. The men were forbidden, for 30 years, from talking about their work and the burdens that they faced. In addition to facing the enemy, the men were under threat from some of their fellow servicemen, including distrustful officers. As well, their families were in some cases interned and their homes and businesses lost. Unlike the 442nd, the men in MIS operated in groups of 10, split among units, so they seldom saw anyone else from their group. Masao Abe's story is well worth reading; the author's sociological views, not so much. Her assertion that no Japanese-Americans assisted Japan was disproved on December 7th in an incident some view as informing the internment policy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niiha...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dindy

    I rarely read a book in one sitting anymore, but I did this one. I read it cover to cover in about 3-4 hours. It is very readable and a fascinating look at a group of heroic Americans I knew nothing about. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, hysteria swept the country about the many Japanese and people of Japanese ancestry in the nation. They were considered an internal threat, and the story of the Japanese being put into internment camps is fairly well known. However, for the American soldiers of I rarely read a book in one sitting anymore, but I did this one. I read it cover to cover in about 3-4 hours. It is very readable and a fascinating look at a group of heroic Americans I knew nothing about. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, hysteria swept the country about the many Japanese and people of Japanese ancestry in the nation. They were considered an internal threat, and the story of the Japanese being put into internment camps is fairly well known. However, for the American soldiers of Japanese ancestry, life was much more difficult because their loyalty was suspect. They were not allowed to serve overseas and were kept in stateside appointments. While the military is usually a close-knit group of people, those of Japanese ancestry were excluded from this camaraderie. Masao Abe was an American citizen who was raised in Japan. Drafted into the US Army, he was eager to go into combat but was kept at a base in Arkansas as a medic. Then he heard about a special Military Intelligence Service program for those raised in Japan. As a member, he would be embedded with a combat unit and serve as an interrogator of Japanese prisoners, as well as reading through documents recovered for military intelligence. Because there was so much distrust of the Japanese, members of this elite unit had to have 3 bodyguards with them at all times to protect them from their own side. Abe went on to serve with distinction, participating in several pivotal battles, and being awarded a Purple Heart as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor. As I said, the book is very readable. Masao Abe’s son was author Sandra Vea’s partner, and she undertook to get him to tell as much of his history as possible before he died. Her love and respect for Abe shines throughout the book. The narrative goes back and forth between the last few years of Abe’s life in present day and the period between 1916, when Abe was born, and the end of World War II. It is fascinating to see how the gentle Abe rises above the suspicion and distrust of his comrades and gains their trust and respect. The collision of cultures between Japan, the first- and second-generation Japanese and America is also very fascinating. And, in this day, when another group of immigrants is being demonized, it is sad to see that as a country the US has not really risen above the same mindset that engulfed the country about the Japanese in the 40’s. Abe must also wrestle with the knowledge that the very people he is fighting against are the people he was raised and went to school with. He thinks of some of his close friends and wonders if he is facing them in battle. I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning more about World War II and about Japanese culture and the history of the Japanese in America. I enjoyed reading it very much and learned a lot.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Part biography, part war memorial, this is the story of Masao Abe, a Japanese American soldier who served in the South Pacific during WWII. The author is our subject’s daughter-in-law, and not only does she tell Masao’s history, she depicts his final years as a nonagenarian as he opens up to her about his experiences during the war. Born in America and educated in Japan during his formative years, Masao’s life was a dichotomy of two cultures. When Japan attack’s Pearl Harbor, Japanese are seen a Part biography, part war memorial, this is the story of Masao Abe, a Japanese American soldier who served in the South Pacific during WWII. The author is our subject’s daughter-in-law, and not only does she tell Masao’s history, she depicts his final years as a nonagenarian as he opens up to her about his experiences during the war. Born in America and educated in Japan during his formative years, Masao’s life was a dichotomy of two cultures. When Japan attack’s Pearl Harbor, Japanese are seen as the enemy, and Masao’s own family members are interred. Masao, however, was drafted, though the U.S. Army was at a loss of what to do with these Japanese American soldiers. It’s incredible to realize how rampant hatred and discrimination was, even for men in uniform. Eventually, Military Intelligence Service realizes the best use for these men is as interpreters and interrogators. “There seemed to be little understanding on the front lines that Japanese prisoners might contain valuable intelligence that could assist the Allied Forces with strategies to secure islands currently held by the Japanese.” Once they arrive to these hostile islands, it becomes evident that the enemy would much rather die for the honor of their country and emperor that be shamed by capture. Masao actually did very little interrogating, but was instrumental in 3 battles on 3 separate islands. The hell of jungle combat is laid bare here and Masao’s heroism is evident, and it’s obvious he’s deserving of all the medals and commendations he received. Vea’s personal connection to Masao gave the narrative a more emotional tone. My only qualm is that she skips between Masao’s past and her more recent interviews with him and that often makes the flow feel interrupted. Overall, she does honor to her father-in-law in her portrayal of his stoic bravery and his unique role during the war. It’s an homage to all of the Japanese American soldiers who didn’t receive the recognition they deserve until decades after their service. I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pedro

    This book by Sandra Vea is the the best historical rendering of an important and (new to me) aspect of World War II. While I had heard of the 442d RCT (who hasn't?) I was unfamiliar with the exploits of the MIS but Ms. Vea did an excellent job enlightening me via her book. I loved the way she expertly wove Masao Abe's recollections into a very readable and compelling narrative. Contrasting Abe's service with his conflict over how members of his family were interned by the same country he served This book by Sandra Vea is the the best historical rendering of an important and (new to me) aspect of World War II. While I had heard of the 442d RCT (who hasn't?) I was unfamiliar with the exploits of the MIS but Ms. Vea did an excellent job enlightening me via her book. I loved the way she expertly wove Masao Abe's recollections into a very readable and compelling narrative. Contrasting Abe's service with his conflict over how members of his family were interned by the same country he served was a sad and powerful comment on the lengths to which we as a people can often succumb to racism. Masao Abe is a true American hero who could have been a Japanese Army officer but fate called him to serve his new country instead. He is the personification of how very often the sacrifices of ethnic soldiers in the US Army are overlooked. (I recall my father's service in Vietnam as a Puerto Rican senior non-commissioned officer where he was decorated with the Bronze Star for heroism.) Thank you, Ms. Vea, for taking the time to collect Masao's stories, to love and cherish him, and to keep him alive for his fellow citizens. I, for one, thank him for his service and hope he and Doris are enjoying the eternal fruits of heaven.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J

    A wonderful account of an amazing life. I could have read twice as much or more. This should be on every high school reading list. I was initially put off by the author's choice to fill in details of the account but she did it so skillfully it was not obvious where it was done. I would have liked to have read a little more about Masao's life in Japan before moving back to the states, his family in Japan during and after the war, and his uncle's family after the war. A wonderful account of an amazing life. I could have read twice as much or more. This should be on every high school reading list. I was initially put off by the author's choice to fill in details of the account but she did it so skillfully it was not obvious where it was done. I would have liked to have read a little more about Masao's life in Japan before moving back to the states, his family in Japan during and after the war, and his uncle's family after the war.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I loved this story, especially how it includes Masao's parents' history as well as his own story. The way it was told--jumping back and forth between 1944 and the modern day worked well and helped me to see the elderly Masao better for who he really was. I loved this story, especially how it includes Masao's parents' history as well as his own story. The way it was told--jumping back and forth between 1944 and the modern day worked well and helped me to see the elderly Masao better for who he really was.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rick Peterson

    4 1/2 stars. Well written and interesting

  8. 4 out of 5

    George Wilson

    helps illuminate a nearby part of history that few know about. I appreciated its showing me what is contemporary to my life experiences

  9. 4 out of 5

    RACHEL

    In telling Masao's life Vea has given us a gift not only by introducing readers to this remarkable man, but also personal accounts of important parts of our history we need to learn and remember. In telling Masao's life Vea has given us a gift not only by introducing readers to this remarkable man, but also personal accounts of important parts of our history we need to learn and remember.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Solaire

    Was an outstanding reading and truly inspiring! I suggest others to read it as well

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    Let me start by saying two things...a three star rating is a very good rating in my book. I occasionally hand out a four star review and rarely five stars. I also received a copy of this book through the First Reads program. I really enjoyed this book. Many times, I'm not a fan of authors writing first hand accounts when they weren't there. In Rising Son, Vea was clear in the introduction that parts of the book would take an In Cold Blood type turn. Within the book, there was a clear divide betw Let me start by saying two things...a three star rating is a very good rating in my book. I occasionally hand out a four star review and rarely five stars. I also received a copy of this book through the First Reads program. I really enjoyed this book. Many times, I'm not a fan of authors writing first hand accounts when they weren't there. In Rising Son, Vea was clear in the introduction that parts of the book would take an In Cold Blood type turn. Within the book, there was a clear divide between what she presented as fact and what she dramatized. As a researcher, I appreciate that and the example of how things may have played out in situations. Every once in a while there is some cursing, but I would still recommend the book to any history lover in high school or older. You don't even need to be a WWII fan to enjoy this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Sandra Vea chronicles her father-in-law’s family and wartime (WWII) history while bringing Masao Abe to life as an elderly Japanese American who misses his late wife and loves to gamble. Born in Japan, Abe emigrated to the US as a young man. He fought for America as a Japanese interpreter on the battlefields of the South Pacific while his US-based uncle and family were sent to internment camps. This is a loving portrait of a soldier, his recollections enhanced with her research about a segment o Sandra Vea chronicles her father-in-law’s family and wartime (WWII) history while bringing Masao Abe to life as an elderly Japanese American who misses his late wife and loves to gamble. Born in Japan, Abe emigrated to the US as a young man. He fought for America as a Japanese interpreter on the battlefields of the South Pacific while his US-based uncle and family were sent to internment camps. This is a loving portrait of a soldier, his recollections enhanced with her research about a segment of the military not widely known.

  13. 5 out of 5

    BookFan67

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jill Pickle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Mcpherson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Miller

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elaine W Gordon

  18. 4 out of 5

    Remy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Drok Sdw

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Lamus

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Horrocks

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nissa

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  25. 4 out of 5

    Larry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ben Downing

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Erickson

  28. 4 out of 5

    MTN343-Wishlist

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angie Taylor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  31. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  32. 4 out of 5

    Joy

  33. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mary Simmons

  35. 4 out of 5

    Satrin

  36. 5 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  37. 4 out of 5

    Margo

  38. 5 out of 5

    Gail Barasch

  39. 4 out of 5

    Christine Eckstein

  40. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  41. 4 out of 5

    ROY Law

  42. 4 out of 5

    Zach Yancey

  43. 4 out of 5

    Douglass Abramson

  44. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

  45. 5 out of 5

    Ginger Frizzell

  46. 4 out of 5

    Barbie Campbell

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jill Rivera

  48. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  49. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Buxton

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