Midori Shimoda would have been the last person to have described his life as anything other than ordinary. Yet, how do you describe as ordinary a life that included:

  • A three-week long, trans-Pacific, ocean crossing without family or friends at the age of nine;
  • A perilous evacuation from California in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor followed by “adoption” by a rogue Mormon family in Utah;
  • Two arrests and subsequent incarcerations for suspected espionage/treason;
  • An internment that followed the incarcerations; and
  • “Visits” from the FBI for ten years following the end of World War II?

And, that’s not to mention that his most extraordinary life intersected with, among others:

  • Grace Kelly
  • Fay Wray;
  • Ansel Adams;
  • J. Edgar Hoover;
  • William Randolph Hearst;
  • Betty Hutton, Gloria Swanson and Twiggy

“Photographic Memories: A Story of Shinjistu” is the product of hundreds of hours of meticulous research conducted in person, via visits to sites where Midori lived and worked, through interviews and online. It is as faithful a narrative of Midori Shimoda’s life as possible given the passage of time.

Conversations have been re-created based upon source material and the recollections of those whom we interviewed. The characters Midori encountered in prison and while in the alien detention center have been rendered as composites based upon our best understanding of those episodes in his life. All of the other characters in the book are people Midori encountered along the way.