Four Years in a Red Coat: The Loveday Internment Camp Diary of Miyakatsu Koike

Book Cover: Four Years in a Red Coat: The Loveday Internment Camp Diary of Miyakatsu Koike
ISBN: 1743058969, 9781743058961
Size: 156.00 x 234.00 mm
Pages: 216

Before the Japanese Imperial Navy Air Service staged its surprise strike on Pearl Harbor, Miyakatsu Koike lived the privileged life of a Japanese expatriate in the Dutch East Indies. Through the working week he was a conscientious employee of the Yokohama Specie Bank in Surabaya. The rest of his time he could devote to playing golf and tennis, to indulging his hobby photography, and to exploring Java with his wife Fumiko. When his countrymen committed themselves to the 'Greater East Asia War', however, that world came to an abrupt and painful end.

Four Years in a Red Coat presents for the first time in English translation Miyakatsu Koike's wartime diary. It is a keenly observed record of his arrest, his hellish voyage to distant South Australia, his endurance of years in the Loveday Internment Camp, and his return ultimately to a war-ravaged homeland. More than that, it is a testament to one man's calmly stoic triumph over sustained adversity. The scars of his war are indelible, yet Koike emerges from it with his humanity not just intact but enhanced.

Publisher: Wakefield Press
Reviews:Historian Debbie Terranova wrote:

A diary of this nature is an absolute treasure for historians, researchers, and readers with an interest in WWII. Sensitively translated from the original Japanese, it makes an important contribution to our understanding of war and internment. […] The translator and editors deserve high praise for transforming this important piece of WWII history into a fine English-language publication. Diagrams, cartoons, photographs of comrades and scenes within the Loveday camp add visual elements to the text.

Norrie Sanders, Queensland Reviewers Collective wrote:

Although the diary raises more questions than it answers, it opens our eyes to an obscure chapter in Australian history and reminds us that countries that wage war in foreign lands are willing to treat their own citizens as collateral damage.

Goodreads wrote:

This publication of an internee’s personal diaries will expand our understanding of the civilian internment experience in Australia during World War II, through the words of a Japanese internee who spent four years behind the barbed wire at Loveday.