When a California veterinarian, a Japanese-American tour-guide and the son of a well-known Tokyoite businessman get together to help save the Taiji dolphins, trouble brews in a society where conformity is favored over individuality. Tessa Walker sticks out in Japan’s homogeneous society. Akira Nakano has to tread lightly if she wants to keep her job as a tour guide. And Toshiro Yokoyama needs to find a way to distance himself from his family in order to find himself. As the three join a demonstration to protest the slaughter of dolphins, the wealthy owner of global aquariums is alarmed and is determined to stop them. But Tessa and Akira are resolved to push forward and help protect these cetaceans from brutal slaughter, and Toshiro is determined to help them in order to escape his humdrum life.
Read an Excerpt from The American Outsider
Tessa took a slow deep breath, got up off the bathroom floor and made her way to the kitchen. She thought back to that August day a few weeks earlier when she had told her father that she was going to Japan.
“Why Taiji?” her father had asked her when he found out that Tessa was planning to go to Tokyo, Kyoto, Taiji, and Osaka for two weeks in September.
Tessa was seated on the patio of her parents’ four-bedroom house off of Montana Avenue, an upscale neighborhood in West L.A. She sipped on her lemonade as turmoil brewed inside her.
“I mean, we have plenty of animal abuse in our own home country,” Jeff shrugged. At seventy-four, he was a successful real-estate broker with a muscular body and a buzz cut. He didn’t like the idea of meddling in other countries’ affairs even though when he served in Vietnam, he followed orders without asking questions. He was eventually discharged due to his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Years later, he realized that he was unhappy about some of the decisions his superiors had made.
Tessa stared at him in disbelief and blurted, “I like dolphins. There are many causes in the world, and I chose this one. It’s not possible to stand up for everything if you want to make a change. But if you chose one thing and see it through, then you have stood up for something.”