No-No Boy

No-No Boy

John Okada was born in Seattle, Washington in 1923. He attended the University of Washington and Columbia University. He served in the US Army in World War II, wrote one novel and died of a heart attack at the age of 47. John Okada died in obscurity believing that Asian America had rejected his work.

In this work, Okada gives the perspective of a no-no boy, a Japanese-American man who would neither denounce his Japanese heritage nor fight for the U.S. Army during WWII. This novel takes place after the main character spent two years in a Japanese internment camp, and two years in prison after saying no when asked to join the U.S. Army. Okada's novel No-No Boy shows the internal and external struggles fought by Japanese-Americans in that time period, be they no-no boys or not.

Title:No-No Boy
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780295955254
Format Type:

    No-No Boy Reviews

  • lark benobi

    No-No Boy was searingly wrong for its time: in 1956 John Okada wrote a novel about a Japanese American man who went to prison instead of fighting for a country that had sent his family to an internmen...

  • Jason

    While John Okada’s novel could be read for its historical perspective on the internment of Japanese-Americans and their experiences post-WWII, it was not written as a historical novel. No-No Boy was...

  • Jill

    A little-known fact about American history: at the time of World War II, the U.S. War Department required men of Japanese descent to answer two “loyalty” questions: “Are you willing to serve in ...

  • Rinda Rinda

    No-no boys refer to the Japanese American men and Japanese Nationals who answered "no" to two specific questions on a survey conducted by the US government while they were interned in camps during WWI...

  • Kusaimamekirai

    “It’s because we’re American and because we’re Japanese and sometimes the two don’t mix. It’s all right to be German and American or Italian and American or Russian and American but, as th...

  • Shomeret

    I found The No-No Boy on K.P. Kollenborn's Blog after I had read her novel Eyes Behind Belligerence. Since Eyes Behind Belligerence and No-No Boy had protagonists dealing with being Japanese American ...

  • Doreen

    Read it for a thesis committee I'm on and grateful for the opportunity to be introduced to a one-time novelist who died much too young (47) but if one were to write one novel, this would be it. The se...

  • Queralt

    Aight. Dang. 5/5Ichiro Yamada, a Japanese American man, comes back home from being imprisoned for refusing to fight for the United States after he and his family were sent to internment camps on the w...

  • Ellen Zacarias

    No-No Boy by John Okada is another one of those books that make me want to shake it violently and go, "Where have you been all my life?! Why have you deprived me of this misery?""But...But..." stammer...

  • sdw

    I read this book while doing “ground-support” for a tree-sit. That means, I was basically sitting under some trees that people were living in (to stop logging) in case they needed help from the gr...