Press Release

In Times Of The Deepest Tragedy, Hope Is Offered From An American Concentration Camp Survivor in Elephant a la Mode

December 7, 2009 – Lahaina, HI – Dr. T. Roy Nakai, whose parents were American concentration camp survivors, offers a lifetime of wisdom gained through professional triumphs and personal tragedies through his new book titled Elephant à la Mode, An Epicurean Guide To Life.  Dr. Nakai unfolds a poignant and unusual drama revealing the history of an American family never before visited.  At the end of each chapter, he provides lessons learned from his life’s experiences.

From the circumstances of his birth at the Manzanar concentration camp in California during World War II, T. Roy Nakai portrays his ancestry in a simple and direct manner.  His parents’ generation took the brunt of the government’s betrayal of its citizens by being forced into camps.  With dignity and gaman, Japanese for “perseverance,” these individuals retained their cultural values through captivity for the duration of the war.  Isolated and cut off from the rest of their country, an entire culture shared the experience often with humiliation.  The disruption of their lives and unprecedented prejudice was met with shikata ga nai, which means, “it cannot be helped.”

Learning powerful lessons of survival from his family’s experience allowed the author to create success as both a scholar and athlete in high school, college and beyond as a pediatric dentist, husband and father.  Gaman was the term he embraced.  Building on a foundation created from fortitude allowed his family to enjoy the American Dream.

But the prosperity and achievements that took decades to build was suddenly destroyed when his fingers were crushed in an office accident. With his career over he struggled to re-invent himself.  Using the same gaman from his ancestors, he built a new life only to have it again interrupted when a far more devastating tragedy struck

Dr. Nakai needed and sought professional help.  Through a series of therapy sessions with his counselor, and the deeply honest conversations with his daughter, Leslie, he learned to understand the lesson of his forefathers and to accept shikata ga nai and move forward to a third chapter in his life.

Elephant à la Mode unveils the full story and adds the inspirational axioms of hope and wisdom Dr. Nakai took from these conversations., He offers these profound words of self-help in his “Lessons Learned,” to those who have suffered their own tragedies in life.  It is his hope that they, too, can know that there are lessons to be learned from the traumas and the triumphs in life.

Elephant à la Mode, An Epicurean Guide to Life, is Dr. Nakai’s first book and in the author’s own words, “a gargantuan feast of life’s journey, one course at a time.”

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