Relying on Ron's early memories, their mother's diary, and the acute memory of their father, who lived to be over one hundred, the Baenningers recount the initial years of their parents' marriage and provide glimpses into relations between Japan and the West from the turn of the century to the onset of the Second World War. In their earliest years together the young couple enjoyed a rich social life, travelling freely between Canada, Switzerland, and Japan, although aware of the political turmoil slowing unfolding around them. The outbreak of the war between Japan and the United States and allied powers brought their privileged lifestyle to an end. In August 1942 they escaped internment with their young son aboard the Kamakura Maru - one of the many exchange ships assigned to bring foreign nationals home and the last evacuation vessel from Japan - and negotiated their way through war-torn areas to reach Canada four months later.
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