Author: Ota, Shelley Ayame Nishimura
Title: Upon Their Shoulders
Place Published: New York
Date Published: 1951
262 pages. Foreword by Miles E. Carey. (8vo), original cloth in pictorial dust jacket. First Edition.
Inscribed by author on flyleaf: "To Mrs. Hugh Johnson, this copy comes to you with the compliments of Herman's Mfg. Furriers. Shelley A. Ota Nov. 30, 1952." Issued by a "vanity" publisher and scarce.
Though not "the first Japanese-American novel in English," as called by one historian, this is certainly the first novel by a Nisei woman writer, telling the story of a Japanese-American family in Hawaii, where the author was born and educated. Not interned during World War II; Ota taught school in Milwaukee and was an instructor in Japanese for adult education classes during the war years. In a Dust Jacket blurb, Larry Tajiri, editor of Pacific Citizen, called this " a fine perceptive work of writing which illumines a facet of American life hitherto untouched in our literature."