Color of the Sea by John Hamamura
It is the story of a young man born in Japan in the 1920's, shipped off to live with his father in Hawaii on a sugar cane plantation where he studies and masters martial arts. He then moves to the mainland in the late 30's. To sum up the first part of the book in this manner seems so cold. The writing is anything but cold.
Listen to this passage: (see, even reading it will feel as though you are listening)
"Dawn. Sam shivers at the bow rail as the ship pushes through fog toward the bright disk of the rising sun. The fog thins and the ship emerges into a clear morning. Ahead lie coastal hills, low, sensuous, draped in blue-gray chaparral and winter emerald grass. Sam inhales down to his toes and up to the tips of his hair.
California! A new land. A clean page to his life. Another chance to get it right.
Escorted by tugboats the ship passes slowly under the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge. Sam stares, dizzy, reeling with awe. If Fujiwara-san could see this bridge! A dream blossoms in Sam's heart. He will study to be an engineer. Someday he will design and build a marvel like this, graceful, powerful, useful to all.
Delivered across the long rolling swells of the Pacific into the calm waters of San Francisco Bay, Sam feels the morning sun penetrating and warming him, sees it mirrored golden in the windows of the city. Sam Hamada, eighteen years old, sharp and bright as a naked sword, eldest son, bearer of his families crest, his father's spear reaching the mainland...the United States of America...He inhales deeply. He bows."
Please buy the book and then tell friends about it. Writing like this needs to be shared.