While staying in Washington, D.C., Tennessee-born Gwen Harold (Carroll Baker) falls in love with and marries Japanese diplomat Hidenari (Terry) Terasaki (James Shigeta), despite the objections from her family. When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Gwen, Terry and their daughter are sent to Japan in exchange for American diplomats stationed there. Because of Terry's long opposition to the war party, he is stripped of his rank and carefully watched by the Kempei-tai, the secret police. In addition, Gwen is torn between allegiance to her native country and affection for her new home, and is treated with hostility by the Japanese. When Japan eventually surrenders, Terry is appointed to act as a liaison between Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur, but the war years have taken a toll upon Terry's health. To spare his wife and child, Terry insists they return to the U.S. where he will join them later. Gwen has learned of her husband's illness and is torn between staying with him or respecting his wishes.
This combination romance and wartime drama by Etienne Perier was unusual at the time it was released because it portrayed World War II in the Pacific from the perspective of Gwen Terasaki, a woman from the Southern U.S., married to a Japanese diplomat. Based on her autobiography, the interesting story relates how the couple left for Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and remained in Japan throughout the duration of the war. Their experiences and hardships during the war are detailed, as well as the tragedy that separated them once the war was over. Since the suffering of the ordinary Japanese citizen at this time and the racial undercurrents connected to the Pacific war are brought forward, the film stirred some controversy when it was released.
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