WWII Veterans and Rainbow Over Hell

Through promotional activities for Rainbow Over Hell, I've been honored to meet and hear from many Pacific War veterans and their family members. It's a humbling experience to come into contact with men who, years ago, fought on Saipan as young men.

Many of them have quietly kept their wartime memories to themselves. When I meet the children or brothers of these veterans, the words I hear most often are, "My father/brother fought in the Pacific War, but he never spoke of it."

Today, I heard about another Pacific War veteran who fought on Tinian and Saipan against the Japanese and who has recently read Rainbow Over Hell. He was so moved by the story that he is encouraging others to read it as well.

For me, these responses from World War II veterans--and especially those who fought in the South Pacific--are the most rewarding reviews of all. To have someone who once considered Saburo Arakaki an enemy read this book and embrace the story with such openheartedness is truly humbling and fulfilling.


Technorati tags:


Event Report: Sierra Christian Writers

On Tuesday (May 16), I spoke to a small Christian writers' group based at the Placerville SDA Church. During the Q & A session at the end of my presentation, I was pleased to receive some questions about the process of translation.

I believe in translation, not only as a literary tool, but also as an important bridge-building tool between human beings in a fragmented world. Translated literature gives us glimpses into other cultures and belief systems, and this exposure in turn invites us to be open-minded and accepting of other human beings.

Translation is currently a popular topic in the literary world. The PEN American Center recently hosted "PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature," which featured a panel discussion on the challenges facing translated world literature in the current publishing world. Words Without Borders, an online journal for international literature has a forum dedicated to the discussion of translation. POETRY magazine's most recent issue is dedicated to translation.

As a translated story about transformation and forgiveness, Rainbow Over Hell reminds us, I think, of what binds us together as a human race. As such, my hope is that it will be a book that transcends social and religious boundaries.


Technorati tags:


Event Report: Woodside SDA Church

A Connection to Saburo Arakaki
Tonight I had the privilege of participating in a special presentation and signing for Rainbow Over Hell at Woodside SDA Church in Sacramento, California. I was interviewed for about an hour by our good friend, Jim Lorenz, pastor of the Woodside Church.

During the interview, I learned that there is a connection between Saburo Arakaki and Woodside SDA Church. Apparently, one of the first pastors of this church was Louis Venden (whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making just last week). Elder Venden left Sacramento for Japan, where he served as a missionary. In Japan, he attended the pastoral ordination ceremony of Saburo Arakaki.

Incredible Stories
At the reception and signing that followed, I heard a number of incredible stories. I'm honored to share some of them here (names removed for privacy):

-One attendee's brother was on the USS Robinson during the Battle of Saipan. He told me that his brother still vividly remembers the horrific scene of Japanese women leaping from Suicide Cliff. This American war veteran was 18 years old--the same age as Saburo Arakaki--during that brutal battle.

-Another attendee said that his brother was actually shot in the hand by Saburo Arakaki himself. In 1987 when Arakaki returned to Saipan, Guam, and Hawaii for the filming of the Japanese TV documentary about his experiences, he met this man he had shot years earlier. These two men who had once fought against each other became friends. Their friendship continues to this day.

-A woman told me that her husband has difficult emotions about the Japanese people, because he was held in one of the Japanese POW camps during World War II. She hopes that Rainbow Over Hell will be a healing story for him. I share her wish.

-Another woman participated in prison ministries between 1946-1948 in Hawaii and believes she may have visited Saburo Arakaki in prison.

-One U.S. Navy veteran was on a ship involved in shelling the island during the Battle of Saipan.

I am truly amazed and honored to have heard all of these stories. My only regret is that I did not have my guestbook out for people to sign, so that I might have some record of those who generously shared these stories with me.

Call for Stories
If you attended the Woodside SDA Church event and shared your story with me, I would love to hear from you.

If you did not attend this event but have stories to share from the Battle of Saipan or if you have a connection to Saburo Arakaki, I would love to hear from you as well.

Please send me your stories. Sharing stories like these continues the healing process for those who fought on either side of that battle, and it creates a bridge across what was once enemy lines. Rainbow Over Hell is a story about hope, grace, and forgiveness, and as such, it has the power to create bridges between hearts.

Email: webmaster@rainbowoverhell.com

Sharing the Book
Author Tsuneyuki Mohri has said that his wish is that this book be like a rainbow of light encircling the earth. If your father, brother, uncle, friend, or neighbor fought in World War II, please consider sharing Rainbow Over Hell with him so that this circle of light and healing might continue to expand.

War stories like Rainbow Over Hell are important in any age, but perhaps even more so in times like these. As such, it is a privilege for me to be a part of the effort to bring this story to American audiences.

Technorati tags:


Upcoming Events: Preview

Here's a recap of promotional events in the near future.

May 6, 2006
7 p.m.

Woodside SDA Church
3300 Eastern Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821-4010
Phone: 916-482-6444

An hour-long presentation and signing at Woodside SDA Church (Sacramento, CA).

May 7, 2006
1-3 p.m.

Adventist Book Center (Sacramento, CA)
5207 Madison Avenue Suite G
Sacramento, CA 95841
(916) 486-7730

A signing with two other authors: Donna Nicholas, Compiler of The New Amplified Pilgrim's Progress and Karen Easter, author of The Promise.

May 16
7:15 p.m.
Sierra Christian Writers Group (Placerville, CA)

Placerville SDA Church
6831 Mother Lode Drive
Placerville, California 95667
(530) 622-2446

An hour-long presentation and signing.


In other news:
I am also scheduled to be interviewed on Loma Linda Broadcasting Network television. LLBN is broadcast worldwide via satellite, cable, and internet streaming media. My interview is scheduled for June 12, but I'm not yet sure if the broadcast will be live or pre-recorded.


Print ads:
An ad for Rainbow Over Hell and four other books appeared in the Pacific Union Recorder.

Ads are forthcoming in Spectrum and Adventist Review.


Technorati tags: