An Award-winning Evocative Period Drama full of International Flare and Suspense...
"When you see the [the world] in only black and white, you miss the beauty of the gray."
In 1922, a future reporter outruns her past by becoming a spy to balance an anti-Japanese media scheme―a crisis that threatens citizenship, Hawaii’s destiny, and future peace.
CONTOLLING IDEA: Bamboo―a paradox of equilibrium and identity (equally hollow/solid)―is a riddle like people (or a nation), formed by inner and outer forces on the journey to destiny.
WHY NOW? As the world gets smaller, media gets bigger…power to reinvent cultural views, social norms, and force nations to evolve at an accelerated rate―AKA ‘Identity.’ The Bamboo Wife is the real story of ‘East meets West’―
a territory seeking identity in a media storm not unlike today.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Jillian Pace (19, British American) on vacation in Hawaii, finds a shadow realm behind the aspirational affluent sugar culture: racism against Asians propped up with misinformation and missteps set to alter a nation’s destiny and hers. Vulnerable and fed up with socialites overlooking Japanese contributions, she leaps at a unique proposition (via Juni Fukawa, Nisei house servant/spy)―be strong like bamboo and bring equilibrium [for the Japanese] skewering elitism at the source―a powerful Honolulu newspaper where she works in two treacherous worlds as a spy for the Japanese.
Jillian’s relatives (Byrdie and Colonel Thorn) become her found family in a maze of formidable forces and a masculine world of oligarchy, white ‘haole’ elite, and the Army. Juggling two loves (Tokuji Sato/double-agent, Oxford-educated, Nisei) (LT. Nick Green/Scot, Army Medic) and up against a ruthless territorial government willing to keep Asians non-citizens at any cost, (including the faux ‘Labor Emergency Bill’ upholding the Big Lie: Japanese are inherently disloyal),* she takes every opportunity to pierce false forms and people. Weathering the ‘20s and early 30’s, Jillian’s disillusionment drives her to shed outer convention in lieu of inner conviction and marries Nick.
Equilibrium brings them into service together, realizing that if the American Dream and ‘Pioneers of the Pacific’ *
can survive any (media) onslaught, so can they.
* Not until 1952 are Asians eligible for full citizenship. In 1959, Hawaii becomes the 50th state. After Pearl Harbor, virtually no Japanese revolt against the United States. The mistreated Asian labor force is an overlooked ‘time bomb’ yet an untapped defense resource.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: The murder of Capt. J. Cook (British, 1779) set the trajectory for a complex, violent cultural history* from British influence (1794―1898) to the tumultuous 1920’s when Hawaii was dominated financially by 12 men and less than 80 people who owned all the private land.
We all embody the Paradox of Bamboo―hollow yet solid―formed by inner or outer forces seeking equilibrium yet never knowing to what degree...
...an insoluble ‘riddle’ only outgrown by time and history itself.