“A book about ‘the sins of the fathers.’ . . . A gritty, troubling book.”—The Honolulu Advertiser
“The other Hawai’i, the one tourists never get to see.”—Ian MacMillan
Ken Hideyoshi is the new guy in Halawa Correctional Institute. He’s tough looking, a hard case, observes his cellmate Cal—the mute tattoo artist of the prison, a wife murderer. SYN, a gang symbol, is tattooed on his hand, and he has a Japanese emblem inscribed on his left shoulder. He asks Cal for a tattoo on his back, in kanji script, of Musashi’s Book of the Void.
While he is being worked on, he tells Cal his life story, a tale of hardship and abuse. Motherless, he was raised by a distant father, a Vietnam War veteran, in the impoverished hinterlands. In his teen years he hung out with the native Hawaiian gangs and was drawn into the Hawaiian-Korean underworld of strip bars and massage parlors. His ambition and proud samurai spirit seem, inevitably, to lead to his downfall.
Chris McKinney is of Korean, Japanese, and Scottish descent. He was born in Honolulu and grew up in Kahaluu. He portrays the native Hawaiian experience from the inside, where children of mixed ethnicity grow up far from the clear water and pristine beaches of the rich visitors’ resorts.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Set in contemporary Hawaii, The Tattoo reveals a side of paradise not usually seen as it traces the life of Ken Hideyoshi, a young man with a troubled past. orphaned by his mother at an impressionably young age, Ken grows up with an abusive, distant father unable to communicate anything but anger. His teen years are spent on a roller coaster as he tries to deal with a growing inner rage. Far from the sunny beaches and crystal blue ocean, Ken's world is one of mud shores and polluted waters. Drawn into Hawaii's underworld, with its hostess bars, strip bars, and massage parlors, Ken falls in love with Claudia Choy, the daughter of the rich and powerful Korean woman who presides over an empire built on the peddling of flesh. This sets in motion a chain of events that has unexpected consequences as Ken continues his struggle to control the samurai spirit that haunts and teases him into action. Told by Ken from inside the walls of Halawa Prison, this is the story of a man searching for truth. And, ultimately, for the answer to the most human of all questions: do we have the power to shape who we ultimately become?About the Author:
Chris McKinney is the author of The Tattoo and Bolohead Row. He is of Korean, Japanese, and Scottish descent. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kahaluu, he portrays the native Hawaiian experience from the inside, where children of mixed ethnicity grow up far from the clear water and pristine beaches of the rich visitors' resorts. He received both his BA and MA in English from the University of Hawaii and currently teaches at Honolulu Community College.
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