The Red Kimono


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In 1941, racial tensions are rising in the California community where nine-year-old Sachiko Kimura and her seventeen-year-old brother, Nobu, live. Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, people are angry, and one night, Sachiko and Nobu witness three teenage boys taunting and beating their father in the park. Sachiko especially remembers Terrence Harris, the boy with dark skin and hazel eyes, and Nobu cannot believe the boys capable of such violence toward his father are actually his friends.


What Sachiko and Nobu do not know is that Terrence’s family had received a telegram that morning with news that Terrence’s father was killed at Pearl Harbor. Desperate to escape his pain, Terrence rushes from his home and runs into two high-school friends who convince him to find a Japanese man and get revenge. They do not know the man they attacked is Sachiko and Nobu’s father.


In the months that follow, Terrence is convicted of his crime and Sachiko and Nobu are sent to an internment camp in Arkansas, a fictionalized version of the two camps that actually existed in Arkansas during the war. While behind bars and barbed wire, each of the three young people will go through dramatic changes. One will learn acceptance. One will remain imprisoned by resentment, and one will seek a path to forgiveness.


Book trailer

Jan Morrill lives in Northwest Arkansas. The Red Kimono is her first novel.


Author website

“What distinguished The Red Kimono … is its combination of raw emotional vulnerability and modern relevance. Morrill deftly exploits these dynamics—and the competing themes of race, grief, love and betrayal—in a compelling portrait of the Japanese experience at the height of America’s ‘Greatest Generation.'”

Shelf Awareness


Jan Morrill interviewed on KUAF

“This story of a Japanese family uprooted and forced to live in a bleak World War II internment camp gives human faces to one of the shabbiest chapters in U.S. history. Told from the viewpoint of an engaging Japanese girl, The Red Kimono tells it all—the bitterness and pain as well as the joy and pride and patriotism of a people too resilient to be beaten by racism. The Red Kimono touches my heart.”

—Sandra Dallas, New York Times best selling author of Tallgrass and True Sisters


“A slice of American history beautifully told by three young Americans coming of age in a turbulent time.”

—Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author