American Concentration Camp Survivor Offers Hope for Times of Tragedy in Elephant à la Mode, Published by Outskirts Press

Lahaina, HI, November 24, 2009 --( In Elephant à la Mode, An Epicurean Guide to Life, published by leading self-publisher Outskirts Press, Dr. Roy Nakai shares the wisdom he has acquired through the tragedies and triumphs of his life as they were filtered through his unique heritage and tradition. It is the unusual and fascinating story of the pursuit of the American “Dream” by a man whose life started out with that dream completely denied him.

Born into the Manzanar concentration camp in California during World War II, T. Roy Nakai was able to shrug off the shame that debilitated many other sansei immigrants with the same stigma. His father’s generation, who were at the forefront of isolation in these camps, passed on to him both the notions of isolation, shikata ga nai, and of perseverance, gaman. Shikata ga nai, which means “it cannot be helped,” was an often repeated phrase in the camps and was used to justify their historically significant plight, while gaman, to persevere, did not allow for the idea of defeat.

After the war the author proved himself a success as both a scholar and an athlete in high school and in college and embarked on a successful career as a pediatric dentist, a husband and a father. Gaman was a concept he had embraced.

At the height of his success his fingers were crushed in an office accident. In a blink of an eye his 25 year career as a dentist ended. He struggled to re-invent himself. Again, through gaman, he began to see a new beginning for his life. Then a second, far more devastating tragedy struck. His only daughter, still in the prime of her life, fell into a coma and died.

Dr. Nakai needed and sought professional help. Through a series of conversations with his therapist and with help from his daughter, he learned to understand the lesson of his forefathers and to accept the life of shikata ga nai.

Elephant à la Mode contains the inspirational axioms of hope and wisdom Dr. Nakai took from these conversations, now addressed to his daughter Leslie as “Lessons I Never Told You.” Dr. Nakai offers these lessons in self-help to those who have suffered their own tragedies in life so that they, too, can know that there is life after death, and that there are lessons to be learned from the trauma of everyday life.

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

ISBN: 978-1-4327-4577-6 Format: 6.14 x 9.21 paperback SRP: $14.96
Genre: Self-help/Personal Growth/General

About the author:

Dr. Tsuyoshi Roy Nakai was born in the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II. A matriculant of UCLA with a Doctorate from UCSF, he went on to receive his advanced degree from the University of Washington and to become a dentist with board certification in pediatric dentistry.

Elephant à la Mode, An Epicurean Guide to Life, is Dr. Nakai’s first book.

For more information or to contact the author, visit

About Outskirts Press, Inc,: Outskirts Press, Inc. offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press represents the future of book publishing, today.


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Kelly Schuknecht