No-No Boy


John Okada

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A city in Japan. The United States dropped one of two atom bombs onto the city, helping guarantee Japan’s surrender and the end of WWII, but killing tens of thousands of civilians in the process.

Nagasaki Quotes in No-No Boy

The No-No Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Nagasaki or refer to Nagasaki. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Japanese vs. American Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Washington Press edition of No-No Boy published in 1976.
Chapter 1  Quotes

“Oh, yes, the picture of Japan.” She snickered. “He is such a serious boy. He showed me all the pictures he had taken in Japan. He had many of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and I told him that he must be mistaken because Japan did not lose the war as he seems to believe and that he could not have been in Japan to take pictures because, if he was in Japan, he would not have been permitted to remain alive… I told him that what must really have happened was that the army only told him he was in Japan when he was someplace else, and that it was too bad he believed the propaganda. Then he got so mad his face went white… It is not enough that they must willingly take up arms against their uncles and cousins and even brothers and sisters, but they no longer have respect for the old ones. If I had a son and he had gone in the American army to fight Japan, I would have killed myself with shame.”

“They know not what they do and it is not their fault. It is the fault of the parents…” Ichiro’s mother looked at him with a look which said I am a Japanese and you are my son and have conducted yourself as a Japanese and I know no shame such as other parents do because their sons were not really their sons or they would not have fought against their own people.

Related Characters: Mrs. Yamada (speaker), Mr. Ashida (speaker), Ichiro Yamada
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire No-No Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
No-No Boy PDF

Nagasaki Term Timeline in No-No Boy

The timeline below shows where the term Nagasaki appears in No-No Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Japanese vs. American Identity Theme Icon
Family and Generational Divides Theme Icon
Healing in the Aftermath of War Theme Icon
...of a family friend stationed in Japan. His photos show the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but both Mrs. Ashida and Mrs. Yamada believe these photos are fake, or else taken... (full context)