When the Emperor Was Divine


When the emperor was divine is a book written by Julie Otsika and which is based on an experience of a Japanese family in the hands of American authorities just after the Second World War. It narrows down on a woman whose husband after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy finds a notice on her neighborhood in Berkeley demanding that all Japanese people living in the area to vacate and fearing she moves away with her son and daughter to an internment camp which cuts her off from other members of the Japanese community. The book does not move out of line but concentrates on the hardships that this family goes through including the return of the father, so emaciated from abuse in custody (Otsuka, 2003). It is therefore important to evaluate the events in the book and ask whether really this is America.

Is this America?

The book has been set on the accounts of occurrences that took place during the second world war when the president of the U.S ordered that people of the Japanese origin be rounded up and incarcerated. Many Japanese were taken in internment camps in several locations in the United States while others were treated as alien enemies of the state. Although this is not a true story, the activities that the book tells are very real and true since exactly that happened to many Japanese in 1942 and therefore what the author tries to communicate is true experiences of the Japanese during internment through her creative characters (p.128). Since the events that the author explains were true, Americans are forced to evaluate the moral of the united states president in ordering the internment on the Japanese to face so many sufferings in so much undemocratic activities, it makes any American disbelieve that this could have happened in the so democratic America and even though it may sound unimaginable, it was as true as the sun.

Like it or not, it is true that America has had at one time or another a very bad reputation and elements and racism has been one of them. It is notable that the story about the internment of Japanese in America where they were accused of spying during the Presidency of Frederick D Roosevelt is a thing that is not spoken much in America but which happened all the same. It is the greatest manifestation of racism that is notable in the past of America although not the worst or the last. Traditionally, the racist America usually presented hostility only between African Americans and therefore the manner in which these people were treated showed another side of America (p.133).

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