Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Teahouse of The August Moon

The Teahouse of The August Moon by Vern Sneider is set in 1945, and the Occupation of Okinawa. Colonel Wainright Purdy is the commanding officer at headquarters section of Military Government Camp Team C-147 Okinawa, bivouacked in the emerald-green hills between native villages Goya and ancient castle Nakagusuka. He has officers assigned to all the small villages on Okinawa under his command, and they are given orders to supervise the villages. But one of those officers doesn’t seem to be pulling his load. Captain Jeff Fisby oversees Tobiki village, but it appears he has lost control. An elderly gentleman gives him the gift of two Geishas, and they turn the village upside down as they talk the commander into letting them build a teahouse to entertain the village. Colonel Purdy sends a doctor to Tobiki to evaluate Captain Fisby, but the doctor also falls under the spell of the village. There are lots of pulp magazines and comic books around for the men to read, and the colonel especially like ADVENTURE; this will have a bearing on the story. This is a hilarious novel of what can go wrong when America attempts to change the ways of native people in foreign lands. The author was actually the commander of Tobaru village, the model for Tobiki village in the story in 1945, so had first hand experience in the Occupation of Okinawa.

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