December 7, 1941 - TOMIKAZU “TOMI” NAKAJI (Kyler Ki Sakamoto) and his best friend BILLY DAVIS (Kalama Epstein) are playing baseball in a field near their homes in Hawaii when Japan launches a surprise attack on the US at Pearl Harbor.  As Tomi looks up at the sky and recognizes the Blood-Red Sun emblem on the fighter planes, he knows that his life has changed forever.


Torn between his love of all things American and the traditional ways of his parents and GRAMPA (Dann Seki), Tomi feels frightened and ashamed of his native land. Tomi’s friendship with Billy is soon tested as prejudice divides their island community. He must find the courage to stand up to neighborhood bully, KEET WILSON (Bryce Moore), while protecting his family’s honor and its katana, a centuries-old samurai sword.


He is soon forced to become the man of the family to care for his MAMA (Autumn Ogawa) and sister, KIMI (Mina Kohara), after his PAPA (Chris Tashima) is arrested and taken away to an internment camp.


Based on actual events, Under the Blood-Red Sun is an unforgettable story of friendship, courage & survival.



• 2014 Children’s Literary Association Phoenix Award Honor Book “for high literary merit and lasting significance"

• 1994 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

• 1999 California Young Reader Medal

• 1998 Nene Award (Hawaii Young Reader’s Choice)

• 1998 Utah Young Adult Book Award Nominee

• 1998 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Nominee

• 1995 Teacher’s Choice, International Reading Association

• 1995 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association

• 1995 Books in the Middle: Outstanding Books for the Middle School Reader

• 1995 Library of Congress: Notable Children’s Books of the Year

• 1995 Oregon Book Award

• 1995 The Family Channel Seal of Quality

• 1995 Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library

• 1995 Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

• 1994 Booklist Editor’s Choice

• 1994 Parent’s Choice Honor Award

• 1994 Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association

• 1994 Notable Children’s Book of the Year, American Library Association