A man ahead of his time, Japanese college professor Masao Takashimaya of Kyoto had a passion for modern ideas that was as strong as his wife's belief in ancient traditions. It was the early 1920s and Masao had dreams for the future--and a fascination with the politics and opportunities of a world that was changing every day. Twenty years later, his eighteen-year-old daughter Hiroko, torn between her mother's traditions and her father's wishes, boarded the SS Nagoya Maru to come to California for an education and to make her father proud. It was August 1941. From the ship, she went directly to the Palo Alto home of her uncle, Takeo, and his family. To Hiroko, California was a different world--a world of barbeques, station wagons and college. Her cousins in California had become more American than Japanese. And much to Hiroko's surprise, Peter Jenkins, her uncle's assistant at Stanford, became an unexpected link between her old world and her new. But in spite of him, and all her promises to her father, Hiroko longs to go home. At college in Berkeley, her world is rapidly and unexpectedly filled with prejudice and fear.