by Gwen Terasaki
New York Times Bestseller
National Book Award Finalist – Non-Fiction – 1958
Washington Post Non-Fiction Book of the Year – 1958
Bridge to the Sun is a beautiful, tender, and moving love story-the true report of an international and interracial marriage of a Japanese diplomat and an American girl from the mountains of Tennessee. They were married in 1931, just as tension between their two countries was mounting, and their constant dream was of a “rainbow across the Pacific,” a bridge of peace between Japan and the United States. In the following ten years, Mr. Terasaki’s service with the Japanese Foreign Office took them to Japan, China (where their daughter Mariko was born), Cuba, and Washington, where they were living at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mrs. Terasaki describes with rare perception and fine humor her months of internment with the Japanese diplomatic corps at Hot Springs and White Sulphur Springs, the long voyage back to Japan via Africa on the famed exchange ship Gripsholm, and the struggle of the war years in Japan which were marked with illness and near starvation. After the surrender, Mr. Terasaki, a courageous and brilliant man who had dedicated his life and health to avert the war, was appointed liaison between the Emperor and General MacArthur, and in this capacity, he played a vital role in the post-war relations between the two countries.
Mrs. Terasaki’s story is unique-there have been many dramatic reports of the war with Japan, but this is the first factual account of an American woman, married to a Japanese, who lived out the war years in Japan. Although technically an enemy alien in her husband’s country, Mrs. Terasaki was not interned in Japan; during the four years of the war, she experienced only kindness, courtesy, and sympathy, although at times she was regarded as something of a curiosity. With accuracy and compassion she portrays the living conditions, the Japanese character and customs, and the personal privations of a people devastated by war.