Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Michael Dana Kennedy Visits the Museum with his book 'The Flowers of Edo'

Thursday September 2nd at 2:00 in the afternoon we will welcome Mr. Michael Dana Kennedy, author of The Flowers of Edo, for a book signing. Having been born in the wake of World War II, Mr. Kennedy had a great enthusiasm for world history. His interests would earn him degrees in history and political science from Harvard University. After spending two years at Tufts University School of Medicine, a career in clinical research, a stint at M.I.T. with a focus on computer science and the founding and selling of two medical technology companies, he turned his attention to research for his book.

The Flowers of Edo follows the life of a young Japanese-American man during the Pacific War. Kenji Kobayashi, the main character, volunteers to serve as a translator in the U.S. military while his family lives in a Japanese-American internment camp. He is then sent to the heart of the Japanese Imperial Defense Force as an intelligence officer for the Allied Forces before the proposed invasion of the Japanese homeland. His hope through his mission is to greatly reduce projected casualty numbers in what would most likely have been a long grueling battle for both the Japanese and the Allied Forces. This is the first book of a proposed trilogy that will introduce the reader to a man determined to save his family, country and his heritage.

What sets this book apart from other Pacific War historical novels is his dedication to accuracy in the depiction of the Japanese people and culture. He lived in Japan for six months conducting research. Not only did he win the respect of many who had been in Japan at the time of the Pacific War but he presented his findings to members of Japan’s Ministry of Defense at their headquarters and was presented with a set of daishō swords for his research.

“The author’s detailed research gives authenticity to the narrative, making the story very believable indeed. Should be enjoyed by younger generations as well as those of us who lived through the Pacific War.”

-Linda Goetz Holmes, Pacific War Historian and author of Under the Rising Sun

“An excellent book! The Flowers of Edo is a gripping historical novel focused on the final months of WWII, with an authentic Japanese setting and an intriguing plot. Both entertaining and educational-a delightful adventure and experience!”

-Admiral James R. Hogg, U.S. Navy (Retired) Commander Seventh Fleet (1983-85)

“The struggle of a soldier’s courage and loyalty to country is at the core of Michael Dana Kennedy’s debut novel. The Flowers of Edo embraces not only the significant historical context but the rich cultural intricacies like few historical novels.”

-James Bradley, New York Times best selling author of Flags of our Fathers

The book signing will be in the West Exhibit Hall of the George H.W. Bush Gallery. The event is free of charge but regular admission fees are still required to go through the museum.