2 journalers for this copy...
Naomi grows up and becomes a teacher in the fictional town of Granton where her uncle and aunt live. There are very few other Japanese families near them but Naomi does make friends with some Mennonites. Stephen, a musical prodigy, escapes and becomes a famous musician but abandons his family. Even when Obasan is dying he ignores her wish to see him.
Naomi's Aunt Emily (her mother's sister) arranges for Naomi to live with her in Toronto but first they travel to Japan to see her mother's grave. Naomi has an epiphany of sorts:
"I kneel by the maple tree and know.We're, all of us, dead and alive. We the dead and we the living are here among the trees, the coloured snails, the moss, the singing insects. We're everywhere here in the sound of distant traffic, in the long-haired grass, in the filtered sunlit haze. In this short visit, on this hot muggy day, within the one hour at Mama's grave, I meet the one I need to meet."
In Toronto Naomi becomes involved, reluctantly at first, in the fight for redress. She also, for the first time, discovers love. The rest of the book covers those two facets of her life. Although this is a work of fiction I have no doubt that the details about the fight for redress are true. I was very interested in this aspect. Winnipeg has a fairly large Japanese Canadian community because many internees were also sent to Manitoba to work on the farms. In fact, one of my close friends from University had a Japanese mother and white father because his mother's family came to work on his father's family farm and they fell in love. I wish now I had taken the time to talk to Tim's Mom about her experiences. It would be interesting to know how closely Naomi's story reflects reality.
I am thankful that the Government of Canada finally apologized and compensated Japanese Canadians. At the end of Itsuka the full text of the government statement is reproduced. For me the most important sentence is "...the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, does hereby:...
(2) pledge to ensure to the full extent that its powers allow, that such events will not happen again;"
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I left this book in the self-registration kiosk in the box that holds the envelopes. When I checked a few hours later it was gone so I hope to get a journal from this release. This release is for celticoracle's Alberta Arts challenge because it was partially set in southern Alberta not too far from this fascinating park.
CAUGHT IN WRITING-ON-STONE PROVINCIAL PARK ALBERTA CANADA
CAUGHT IN EDMONTON ALBERTA CANADA