Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A note from a flutist

Today my book Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story takes flight—21 years after I learned of the story, and 11 after I began to research and write it. So perhaps the more accurate aero-analogy is today my book reaches cruising altitude.

Thanks to my co-pilots, editor Jennifer Greene and illustrator Melissa Iwai. You made the view from the cockpit so much nicer.

The first half of the story is about one man's unique achievement; Nobuo Fujita became the first (and still-only) person to bomb the U.S. mainland from a plane. The second half is about the same man's noble redemption; twenty years after what became known as the Lookout Air Raids, Nobuo returned to the U.S. to apologize and ended up forging a 35-year friendship with the Oregon town closest to the forested bomb site (though he did not speak English). 

After Nobuo died in 1997, some of his ashes were spread in Japan, the rest at the bomb site.

Here is a note I received from Harry Nomura, a flutist who played at the Oregon ceremony (date 11/1/18 but received 10/1/18).

I challenge you to find a lovelier way to express this ritual than "sunk his bone by his dying wish." 

My wish is that this book lands near you and that the story within moves you the way it moved me to write it all those years ago.

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