It is January 1942. Shanghai after Pearl Harbor. Newly-arrived Eiko Kishimoto, a twenty-year-old, London-educated Japanese housewife, settles into a privileged existence in the French Concession as a member of the community of the Occupying Power. Initially, her days are filled with high-society lunches and dinners, race-course and night-club visits and open-air summer concerts, amidst an ebullient and remarkably cosmopolitan society that makes up Shanghai. But all is by no means what it seems. As war progresses, and Japan tightens its control within China, tensions mount, relationships unravel, and allegiances are questioned. It is not long before Eiko awakens to the meaning and implications of occupation for both her international friends and for Japanese civilians. Even her settled domestic life, with a growing family and close proximity to her beloved older sister, is threatened as Japan's war efforts become more desperate and degenerate.Partly biographical - the author taking inspiration from her mother's own war experiences in China - My Shanghai, 1942-1946 provides a fascinating insight into the Asia-Pacific War as never told before, that is through the eyes of a young Japanese woman caught between her Christian values and loyalty to her country.
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