The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic - Julie Otsuka My father served in World War 2, Korea and Viet Nam. He never really talked too much about any of these wars. When we talked about World War 2 the only thing he said was that the American Government's treatment of Japanese Americans was one of the most shameful things we had ever done as a nation, at least in his life-time. He was sickened every time he thought of it. While he was alive, one of his good friends was another retired Colonel named Yamamoto who served with him in World War 2 and beyond, which probably accounts for how deeply he felt about this topic. I thought of Col. Yamamoto and his his son, my friend, David, when I read this book, as I did when I read When The Emperor Was Divine---which I have heard is now required reading in high school in some places, as it should be. This book is even more moving and important. The Buddha in the Attic cuts even deeper, going beyond the politics of the time, or the politics of fear, and gets to the very core of who we are as people, not just as a country. What we value and what we fear. Whether we are Japanese or of any other ethnicity, the dark and very personal stories in this book speak to all of us and they probably always will.