Book - 2006
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A powerful and passionate novel, Obasan tells, through the eyes of a child, the moving story of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Naomi is a sheltered and beloved five-year-old when Pearl Harbor changes her life. Separated from her mother, she watches bewildered as she and her family become enemy aliens, persecuted and despised in their own land. Surrounded by hardship and pain, Naomi is protected by the resolute endurance of her aunt Obasan and the silence of those around her. Only after Naomi grows up does she return to question the haunting silence.
Publisher: Toronto : Penguin, 2006, c1981
ISBN: 9780143055020
Characteristics: ix, 228 p. --


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Jun 10, 2015

This book is amazing. It tells some of what Japanese Canadians had to go through during World War II (and afterward) when they were banished from the coast of BC. There are some very distressing parts but I think all Canadians should read this book, especially those who live in BC. Kogawa's writing style is very unique as well.

Jan 21, 2014

Beautifully written. Did you know Obasan means old lady ( the longer you say the ''A'' older the person is)
but in a polite way in Japanese. It is most commonly used when you see a old woman and you don't know there name you can call them Obasan. ^-^

Rhonda J. Roy
Dec 22, 2010

A story about a Canadian family (second and third generation Canadian from Japan) sent from the coast to work camps in the interior of BC and in Alberta during World War II. The main character was a child during those years - we start with her as a small girl in a house in Kerrisdale and end in Grenfell, Alberta with the death of her uncle, who raised her brother and her.

The story itself is compelling - uncomfortable to read what the Canadian government did in the name of national security. But the writing is almost poetic; the scents and sights of coastal forest, then prairie so vivid.

Apr 22, 2010

fabulous look at a dark time in Canadian histroy.
In my opinion it should be read by all students as it looks at several different issues faced by many of today's youth while educating them about a different culture living in their own towns!

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Jun 10, 2015

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jun 10, 2015

“Where do any of us come from in this cold country? Oh Canada, whether you admitted it or not, we come from you we come from you. From the same soil, the slugs and slime and bogs and twigs and roots. We come from the country that plucks its people out like weeds and flings them into the roadside. We grow in ditches and sloughs, untended and spindly. We erupt in the valleys and mountainsides, in small towns and back alleys, sprouting upside-down on the prairies, our hair wild as spiders' legs, our feet rooted nowhere. We grow where we are not seen, we flourish where we are not heard, the thick undergrowth of an unlikely planting. Where do we come from Obasan? We come from cemetaries full of skeletons with wild roses in their grinning teeth. We come from our untold tales that wait for their telling. We come from Canada, this land that is like every land, filled with the wise, the fearful, the compassionate, the corrupt.”


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