No-No Boy | Study Guide

John Okada

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Course Hero. "No-No Boy Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 May 2019. Web. 3 Aug. 2020. <>.

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In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "No-No Boy Study Guide." May 10, 2019. Accessed August 3, 2020.


Course Hero, "No-No Boy Study Guide," May 10, 2019, accessed August 3, 2020,



John Okada

Year Published





Fiction, Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

The events of No-No Boy are described by a third-person omniscient narrator. Although the narrator describes the views of other characters, his voice is most closely aligned with the thoughts and feelings of the story's main character, Ichiro Yamada.


No-No Boy is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The term no-no boy refers to Japanese American adult males who answered "no" to questions 27 and 28 on a 1943 mandatory U.S. government questionnaire, sometimes called the "loyalty questionnaire."

Question 27: Are you willing to serve in the armed forced of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered? Question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, or any other foreign government, power, or organization?

The men who responded "no" to both of these questions, like No-No Boy's main character, Ichiro Yamada, were considered disloyal and spent the final years of World War II (1939–45) in prison.


This study guide for John Okada's No-No Boy offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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