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American Grit: From a Japanese American Concentration Camp Rises an American War Hero is a compelling narrative about racial identity, resilience, and heroism.

In 2008, John Suzuki embarks on a poignant journey to Minidoka, one of the ten former U.S. concentration camps authorized by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, where tens of thousands of American men, women, and children were incarcerated solely because of their race. Here, he encounters a remarkable testament of bravery — an Honor Roll listing the names of Japanese American men who volunteered to enlist (or drafted) from Minidoka to fight in the U.S. Army while their families remained imprisoned by that same Army.

Inspired by this unparalleled act of courage, Suzuki sets out to tell the story of Shiro “Kash” Kashino, a man who was incarcerated at Minidoka and later emerged as an American war hero in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army. Despite learning of Kash’s death in 1997, the author remains undeterred and, collaborating with Louise Kashino, Kash’s beloved widow, weaves an unforgettable tale of courage, perseverance, and love during a dark chapter in American history.

American Grit is not just Shiro’s story but is also a stark reminder of ruinous hardships endured by over 122,000 victims of American concentration camps while celebrating their heroism during and after World War II. As Suzuki delves into this profound and transformative journey, he invites readers to reflect on the importance of learning from our history to shape a better future. The book is a tribute to Shiro, Louise, and all the heroes of the era whose stories of courage and resilience inspire us to honor the past by educating the future.

Available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C6LFSVJM