by Joy Kogawa | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140169881 Global Overview for this book
Registered by gypsysmom of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 1/22/2006
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by gypsysmom from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, January 22, 2006
This is the sequel to Obasan. I picked this copy up at the Children's Book Market paperback sale.

Journal Entry 2 by gypsysmom from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, August 30, 2008
Itsuka, which means someday, continues the story of Naomi, a young Japanese Canadian girl whose life was changed by the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. At the end of Obasan Naomi, her brother Stephen, her Uncle and Obasan had been moved to southern Alberta to work on a sugar beet farm.

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;"

Journal Entry 3 by gypsysmom at Campground in Writing On Stone Provincial Park, Alberta Canada on Sunday, August 31, 2008

Released 14 yrs ago (8/29/2008 UTC) at Campground in Writing On Stone Provincial Park, Alberta Canada



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.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Sunday, February 22, 2009
I thought that Itsuka was a bit more rambling and harder to follow than Obasan, but a very powerful story nonetheless. There are so many Japanese Canadian families in Southern Alberta, but many of us, too young to remember, have never heard most of their story. I had read Obasan several years ago, and had always meant to read Itsuka but never had gotten around to it, so when this book found me on my last day at the park I felt it must be the right time to read it. It's taken a long time for me to read this book because it is so very sad, moreso thinking of the people that I know who had lived in the camps, grown up on beetfarms, and waited so long to hear a simple apology.


Journal Entry 5 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Thursday, March 12, 2009
The book was left in my car. When I finish it, I will take it to work and passing it on there. I had already read the first book, Obasan, so it was a nice surprise to find this one several years later in my car.


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