Foo, a Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun: The Secret Prison Diary of Frank "Foo" Fujita

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University of North Texas Press, Dec 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 392 pages
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These memoirs are unique because of the six thousand Japanese-Americans who saw military service in the war against Japan, only two were captured by the Japanese and one of them was Frank Fujita—the only combat soldier taken prisoner by the Japanese. For him, capture involved the implicit threat of torture and execution as a traitor to Japan. Fujita was also a prolific diarist who regularly, and secretly, kept a written record of his experiences. The diary was hidden in the walls of his barracks at the POW camp and later recovered by the army and used in several of the war crimes trials in San Francisco. Fujita also made drawings, which are included in the book, along with photographs—some from the Japanese prison camp.

Fujita was a member of the 2d Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, Texas National Guard. The 2d Battalion was sent to Java, Netherland East Indies, where it was captured intact by the Japanese when the Allied command surrendered there in March, 1942. Fewer than nine hundred Americans were taken prisoner on Java. The bulk of American POWs in Japanese hands surrendered in the Philippines, and most of the published POW memoirs reflect their experience. Fujita’s account of the defense of Java and of the fate of the “Lost Battalion” of Texas artillerymen serves to distinguish his memoir from all the others.
 

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Foo, a Japanese-American prisoner of the Rising Sun: the secret prison diary of Frank "Foo" Fujita

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Sergeant Fujita was one of only two Americans of Japanese descent captured by the Japanese during World War II. He risked death constantly to keep a diary of his three and a half years of captivity ... Read full review

Review: Foo: A Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun—The Secret Prison Diary of Frank "Foo" Fujita

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Not bad. Finished it in a day. Honestly written. Read full review

Contents

FOO JOINS THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD 19381941
1
THE 2D BATTALION SAILS FOR THE PLUM 19411942
33
JAVA FALLS TO THE JAPANESE January 1942March 1942
57
FOO BECOMES A POW JAARMARKT AND BICYCLE CAMP
85
SINGAPORE AND FUKUOKA CAMP IN NAGASAKI JAPAN October 1942February 1943
113
LABOR IN THE SHIPYARDS February 1943May 1943
137
GUARD DISCOVERS FOOS JAPANESE HERITAGE June 1943July 1943
155
FOO BEATEN DUTCHMEN TORTURED
169
BOMBING RAIDS BENJO HONCHO PLANS ESCAPE June 1944January 1945
231
FIRE BOMBINGS OF TOKYO February 1945May 1945
257
NIGHT OF ETHYLMETHYL ALCOHOL May 1945July 1945
277
JAPAN SURRENDERS August 1945
297
OKINAWA ALABANG REUNIONS WITH OLD FRIENDS HOME September 1945
317
TACOMA TO TEXAS September 1945February 1946
335
EPILOGUE
351
INDEX
361

CAMP ROUTINES AT OMORI CAMP AND BUNKER HILL October 1943December 1943
187
BUNKER HILL BOYS BROADCAST December 1943June 1944
209

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About the author (2000)

Frank Fujita was called back to active duty as a reservist during the Korean War. He then resumed civilian life and eventually carved out a career as an illustrator for the Air Force. He has appeared on television on C-Span, was filmed at the Admiral Nimitz Museum; and he was one of two prisoners of war interviewed by Ted Koppel on Nightline as part of the debate concerning the dropping of the atomic bomb. He was also interviewed as a former POW on the History Channel.

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