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Gene Oishi

Gene Oishi

Gene Oishi, former Washington and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, has written articles on the Japanese American experience for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and West Magazine, in addition to the Baltimore Sun. His memoir, In Search of Hiroshi, was published in 1988.

Now retired, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Sabine.

Fox Drum Bebop

Fox Drum Bebop


Hiroshi Kono is eight years old and just beginning to question the racial and economic inequities he sees around him when he and his family, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, are packed off to a concentration camp run by the US military. The Arizona desert in which Hiroshi and his family find themselves is a harsh and barren world that sets sibling against sibling, parent against child, and neighbor against neighbor in a complex grappling with duty and disappointment that will reverberate through the decades that follow. Sexual initiation, kabuki performances, all-night jam sessions in French jazz clubs, alcoholism, and the ever-present drumbeat of family form the backdrop against which Hiroshi, his siblings, and his parents struggle to define themselves. Whether describing Hiroshi’s tumultuous coming of age or excavating the generational grievances exacerbated by internment, author Gene Oishi gives heartbreaking and at times humorous context to the post-war decades of a family set adrift by its experiences during WWII. In this clear-eyed and meticulously observed first novel, Oishi weaves together Hiroshi’s story with those of his family members and community to create a densely textured portrait of the physical and psychological displacement brought about over time by the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans.


Gene Oishi news

Sneak Peak of Fox Drum Bebop in Asymptote Journal

Get a sneak peak of Gene Oishi’s forthcoming novel Fox Drum Bebop (November 2014) in this special “Diaspora” feature of Asymptote Journal, featuring artwork by Hidetoshi Yamada. “It should not have been a surprise that the FBI arrested her husband on the first night of the war. Seiji was the leader of the community, and […]

Kaya Turns 20 in San Francisco

Kaya Press celebrates 20 years of publishing innovative Asian Pacific American and Asian diasporic literature in San Francisco, April 16 – 19, in conjunction with the Association for Asian American Studies Conference. Kaya 20th Anniversary Reading at City Lights Bookstore | Thursday April 17 | 7:30 p.m. | 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway Come to […]

Fox Drum Bebop Author Gene Oishi with Poet Brian Komei Dempster at USC

In Fox Drum Bebop (Kaya Press, April 2014), author Gene Oishi gives us glimpses into the life of Hiroshi Kono, from the time Hiroishi  is eight-years-old and living in rural California to his time in an Arizona internment camp and far into his adult life, exploring the reverberations of war and trauma. This week in […]


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