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Bay Area Book Launch of ‘John Okada’

Frank Abe and Greg Robinson

SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area book launch of “John Okada: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of ‘No-No Boy’” will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, in San Francisco, followed by a book event in the East Bay:

• 12 p.m. at National Japanese American Historical Society’s Peace Gallery, 1684 Post St. in San Francisco Japantown, followed by reception.

• 4 p.m. at J-Sei, 1285 66th St. in Emeryville, with light refreshments.

Speakers: Co-editors Frank Abe of Seattle and Greg Robinson of Montreal. Abe directed “Conscience and the Constitution,” a documentary about the Heart Mountain draft resisters. Robinson is a columnist for the Nichi Bei Weekly and the author of such books as “By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans” and “After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics.”

This compelling collection offers the first full-length examination of Okada’s development as an artist, placing recently discovered writing by Okada (1923-1971) alongside essays that reassess his lasting legacy. Meticulously researched biographical details, insight from friends and relatives, and a trove of intimate photographs illuminate Okada’s early life in Seattle, military service, and careers as a public librarian and a technical writer in the aerospace industry.

An essential companion to “No-No Boy” (1957), Okada’s only novel, which is set in 1946 in Seattle. The protagonist, Ichiro Yamada, returns home after spending two years in an American concentration camp and two years in federal prison for refusing to fight for the U.S. in WWII. He faces family issues as well as ostracism from the Japanese American community.

For more information, call (415) 294-4655, email or visit

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