Under the Blood-Red Sun

Adapted for the screen from the award-winning book by Graham Salisbury.

Torn between his love of all things American and the traditional ways of his parents, a young Japanese American boy struggles to keep his family together during wartime.


December 7, 1941 – Tomikazu "Tomi" Nakaji (Kyler Ki Sakamoto) and his best friend Billy Davis (Kalama Epstein) are playing baseball in a field near their homes in Hawaii when Japan launches a surprise attack on the US at Pearl Harbor. As Tomi looks up at the sky and recognizes the Blood-Red Sun emblem on Japan’s fighter planes, he knows that his life has changed forever.

Torn between his love of all things American and the traditional ways of his parents and Grampa (Dann Seki), Tomi feels frightened and ashamed of his native land. Tomi’s friendship with Billy is soon tested as prejudice divides their island community. He must find the courage to stand up to neighborhood bully, Keet Wilson (Bryce Moore), while protecting his family’s honor and its katana, a centuries-old samurai sword. He is then forced to become the man of the family to care for his Mama (Autumn Ogawa) and sister, Kimi (Mina Kohara), after his Papa (Chris Tashima) is arrested and taken away to an internment camp.

Based on actual events, Under the Blood-Red Sun is an unforgettable story of friendship, courage & survival.

Watch Under the Blood-Red Sun on Blu-Ray/DVD



Graham Salisbury won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the Oregon Book Award, Hawaii’s Nene Award, and the California Young Reader Medal.

UNDER THE BLOOD-RED SUN is required reading in middle school curriculum across the United States.

Total sales of UNDER THE BLOOD-RED SUN: 655,000
Estimated readership: 3 million
20th Anniversary Edition, published by Random House, September 2014


  • 2014 Children’s Literature Association – Phoenix Award for high literary merit and lasting significance
  • 1999 California Young Reader Medal
  • 1998 Nene Award (Hawaii Young Reader’s Choice)
  • 1998 Utah Young Adult Book Award Nominee
  • 1998 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Nominee
  • 1995 Teacher’s Choice, International Reading Association
  • 1995 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association
  • 1994 Outstanding Book of 1994 for the Middle School Reader
  • 1995 Notable Children’s Book of the Year – Library of Congress
  • 1995 Oregon Book Award
  • 1995 The Family Channel Seal of Quality
  • 1995 Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • 1995 Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
  • 1994 Booklist Editor’s Choice
  • 1994 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • 1994 Parent’s Choice Honor Award
  • 1994 Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association
  • 1994 Notable Children’s Book of the Year, American Library Association