[[ Pdf ]] ObasanAuthor Joy Kogawa – 91videos.co

Jeeeeesus christ.I d never heard of this book before having to read it for the Intro to Literature class I m TAing for this term Not sure how, actually, because turns out it s a Canadian classic I ll blame it on my Quebec upbringing , and with good reason it s important, but not only that, it s good It takes the Japanese Canadian narrative in World War II in all its mindblowing horror , and renders it emotionally and, at times, quite poetically It s a heartbreaking book, particularly when you realize the story isn t going to end without visiting the other side of the Pacific.3.5 stars, and recommended CanLit reading. Obasan is narrated by Naomi, a sheltered and pampered child who is five years old when her life is drastically changed by the events at Pearl Harbor and the Second World War As a Japanese Canadian, Naomi is separated from her parents, persecuted and eventually placed in an internment camp common practice in Canada during WWII If all this sounds like a bird s eye view to you, Nesan, it s the reportage of a caged bird I can t really see what s happening We re like a bunch of rabbits being chased by hounds pg 107 The one bright spot in Naomi s life is her Aunt Obasan, her protector and caregiver after she is separated from her parents Naomi is only able to face her past after the death of her Obasan, and the letters given to her upon her Obasan s death Reading Obasan, for me, was a lot like riding a roller coaster It had its highs and lows, but in the end, I walked away feeling sick to my stomach Yes, Obasan is an important account on the internment on Japanese citizens in Canada and, later, the use of the atomic bomb.But its format is so confusing that I quickly lost interest in a story that originally kept me frantically turning the pages Kogawa skips from present to past, and even goes so far as to skip around within Naomi s past, making it a struggle to figure out exactly where in time the story is taking place There is no little plot development and even less character development In addition to all of the unnecessary, distracting description of scenery, Obasan is almost impossible to understand. when i was recommended with this book from my english teacher for summer reading just because i m asian, i was not excited about this book. a story about a japanese family who lived in canada during wwii. i heard stories about the time that japan ruled over korea from my grandparents. i learned about wwii from history classes. but when i read this book, everything changed. not only it changed my view on japan and america but also on good and evil. most people associate japan during WWII with evil. they were the bad guys we were the good guys. but what many people don t think about is the stories of the people in the shadow. people who fell victim to our abuse. just because they were japanese. cruel and inhumane treatment that was justified back then and that are not forgotten. the story is absolutely unforgettable and haunting Wow this is late Blame school.Ok, here we go.Looking at what s going on in the world today only furthers my belief that people need to educate themselves Your education system, wherever you are, will only be the best if it s a course related to STEM Sure you maybe lucky like me and have strong departments in all the other fields of education, but sadly, departments unrelated to STEM often get the smallest budget What s the point in building advanced technology if you re just going to be putting it into the hands of an ignorant person So until, the education system whips itself back into shape, your intelligence in regards to your morals, thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, philosophy, etc is completely in your hands Being ignorant is no longer an option So why this rant Well, fires are going off all over the world Societal Justice is being wielded like a sword, the wielder having forgotten the original purpose of the sword Anger is bubbling as atrocities are met over and over and over again with bureaucratic papers, military threat, censorship, or full on suppression The people are fed up and frustration shows in many ways.The events on going today may be different from the events that occurred during WW2 in Canada but the emotions that ripple through the people are no different and, if left unattended, could result in another calamity that gets simplified into printed texts and blurred photos Many of us may feel lost Knowing enough to understand what s wrong and right but not enough to stand firm to ideals or help out That horrid muddy in between place that ends up sinking us faster then those around us This helplessness This almost exhaustion of a reader is found in Naomi, the young child whose story we unfurl Being to young to fully understand what s going on, Naomi watches silently as the place she once called home Vancouver, Canada rejects her as first Canadian, then human Split away from her father, she is sent with her brother and aunt to one of the many designated places given to Japanese families during WW2 We watch as this silent child grows up insilence till, at age 30, she becomes unable to move on Sure the pages of her story turn, but there are no words to read They have all been pushed down deep into her childhood stories that once came to life in the comfort of her mother s hands and father s protection Obasan teaches the reader many things The most important being how silence sometimes doesharm then good How many times have your parents told you not to bring attention to yourself How many times have you kept your opinions views to yourself for the good of others How many times have you kept still as you watched the world burn I m sure many of us have been through some life experience that hushed our voice for a time, many go through it every day It digs itself deep within you making it almost undetectable until you open your mouth The power of the voice to challenge its owner s fate is what democracy was built upon But somewhere along the line, we ve forgotten the responsibility that comes with democracy It s almost as if our voices are being shackled to this giant demon that democracy has become Being pulled along instead of working as a team of husky dogs, pulling the sled containing democracy Now I m not telling you to go and start yelling for justice or to join some political party No of course not But silence can also be another form of ignorance Some choose silence as a result of constant observation Their mind becoming their voice Yet manychoose silence as either the easy way out or because they do not know enough There is no shame in choosing to do so It is better then creating false ruckus But silence can drive a person mad Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Educate.Question everything.Use your voice, but use it wisely Kogawa s writing plucks sharp chords in the reader There were many times when I wondered why we never went into much detail about the Japanese Internment or the Aboriginal Re Education in school Was is because of shame Well, shouldn t it be shameful Shouldn t it be taught as an everlasting reminder when we didn t use our voice properly When we didn t care Naomi s story plays out much lighter in comparison to most other s during the Internment but that doesn t mean that she remained unaffected Her distance from the horrors was Kogawa s way to tell the reader that even those who are young, unrelated, or distant from the issue are affected by it.There were some issues that I had with the book because I did wish it gavedetail to the actual events that occurred in the Internment Camps Having the distance was needed but it also made it hard to understand what exactly happened Also, there were many times where the literary style of the story did not blend well to the factual details the book talked about There was a clear distinction of story from fact making it hard to be pulled into the story Regardless, it is a book that sparks conversation as I have done above. The same friend who lent me Fifth Avenue A Very Social History by Kate Simon also let me borrow Obasan by Joy Kogawa and I m so glad that she did I wasn t all that familiar with the Canadian Japanese experience during WWII, but I ended up being quite impressed with Kogawa s work here The author s writing is compelling, beautiful, and incredibly evocative and heartbreaking I have to admit that I was really pleased with myself for knowing the Japanese words used in the book Overall, this novel is a must read for fans of lyrical historical fiction I need to read Itsuka, the sequel to this novel, soon. A bit too light and wispy Our narrator is very fond of looking at the scenery and only shyly alluding to the human rights abuses going on all around her.But crucial reading I d liked to hope Japanese internment was only a mad USA thing Canada Part of the Empire Bloody hell. I am surprised by how many people have never read this book Kogawa documents a dark part of our history that every person should be aware of A must for every library Introduction There is a silence that cannot speak.There is a silence that will not speak.Beneath the grass the speaking dreams and beneath the dreams is a sensate sea The speech that frees comes forth from that amniotic deep To attend its voice, I can hear it say, is to embrace its absence But I fail the task The word is stone.I admit it.I hate the stillness I hate the stone I hate the sealed vault with its cold icon I hate the staring into the night The questions thinning into space The sky swallowing the echoes.Unless the stone bursts with telling, unless the seed flowers with speech, there is in my life no living word The sound I hear is only sound White sound Words, when they fall are pock marks on the earth They are hailstones seeking an underground stream.If I could follow the stream down and down to the hidden voice, would I come at last to the freeing word I ask the night sky but the silence is steadfast There is no reply. No book I ve ever read has ever broken my heart like this one I cried on the bus heading home from school, cried late at night reading tucked under the covers, an cried again in the morning, sitting in the Arts Undergrad Society student lounge Butoften than not, I sat silently, awash in the stark and simple beauty of Kogawa s prose, numb with sorrow too great for tears or shaking with anger at the wrongs my country, my government committed against the Nisei, against peopleCanadian than Canada,Canadian than the politicians that legislated their gross abuse.Obasan is achingly beautiful, but it isthan that, it is the most important, the most necessary book a Canadian has ever written There are no words that we need to hear , yesterday, today and tomorrow I learned of the residential schools in High School, we talk of the atrocities we committed and continue to commit towards our First Nations brothers and sisters, but even today, Kogawa s story is the great and untold history of our time. Obasan took me by surprise If it weren t in 500GBbW, I may never have read this, and the story it tells might have remained for me one bald, shame concealing line in victorious history books I started reading, not knowing what it was about It opens gently, quietly, with a scene of undulating hills covered in tall grasses, that is tranquil and beautiful, yet troubling because there is a silence behind it, an uncertainty about meaning, an uncertainty about being Shall I shatter this uneasy peace only for the sake of being heard Last weekend at Bare Lit Festival, I listened to Joan Anim Addo speaking about the compulsion to write You have to get this out, or it will kill you One thing that I kept reflecting on as I read was the title, why this title Why name the story for Obasan, the most unobtrusive, the quietest, the least exciting person in the cast Even the name obasan is anonymous, as it means aunt and is not a personal name at all But when sparky activist Aunt Emily provokes Uncle and Obasan and they declare that their gratitude to the Canadian State, I felt I was beginning to understand Obasan s story would die with her, because she will not tell it her way of being does not allow for such painful outpouring Naomi, the narrator, has suppressed her own memories, she feels with Obasan, but gradually she lets them come back, she answers the offering of Emily s story with her own, which is Obasan s it is the story of all Japanese people in Canada, first, second, or third generation, at the time of WWII They were classified as enemy aliens, dispossessed and displaced, often to concentration camps Families were broken up Naomi, with Obasan and Uncle and her brother, lived in a shed, then a smaller shed, through Canadian winters They worked on a farm, cheap labour, back breaking They survived, and they are grateful.Joy Kogawa shows us some of the ways racism affects Naomi s sense of self In one of Stephen s books, there is a story of a child with long golden ringlets called Goldilocks who one day comes to a quaint house in the woods lived in by a family of bears Clearly, we are that bear family in this strange house in the middle of the woodsOccasionally, Naomi directly voices her struggles to live up to Obasan s idealsWe must always honor the wishes of others before our own We will make the way smooth by restraining emotion Though we might wish Grandma and Grandpa to stay, we must watch them go To try to meet one s own needs in spite of the wishes of others is to be wagamama selfish and inconsiderate Obasan teaches me not to be wagamama by always heeding everyone s needs It is such a tangle trying to decipher the needs and intents of othersOf course, the tangle is complicated by others considerateness.I see an ethics of respectful care as central to the Japanese Canadian community Care is paramount, automatic, unostentatious There are so many deeply touching moments and so much casual evidence, of care Obasan personifies this, and way she eases all the hard things the family endures shows how care and respect could produce a society of physical and emotional ease, leaving heart and thoughtspace for enjoyment and contemplation Obasans lead the way in making possible all the world s sweetness But the gentleness of Obasan is counterpointed by Aunt Emily s sharpened sense of justice as well as her academic s eloquence Naomi must step uncomfortably into Emily s mode Some people, Aunt Emily answered sharply, are so busy seeing all sides of every issue that they neutralize concern and prevent necessary action There s no strength in seeing all sides unless you can act where real measureable injustice exists A lot of academic talk just immobilizes the oppressed and maintains oppressors in their positions of power Naomi recoils from what she sees as stridency here, but I really like to hear a fiction author deploying the language of social justice with such precision This might be a violation of the injunction to show not tell, but as a teacher I can see that it is BOTH, form and illustration, and value it as such, because it begins to make politics accessible and relevant to the reader, as Emily intends to make it for Naomi In my country, school education certainly makes zero effort to do that, so hurray for books picking up the slack.Emily s speech is not at all the typical style though I was increasingly in love with Joy Kogawa s starkly beautiful prose, the shimmering veil of images through which she draws truth like a mud slicked, weed strewn treasure from the lake bottom of memoryI am clinging to my mother s leg, a flesh shaft that grows from the ground, a tree trunk of which I am an offshoot a young branch attached by right of flesh and blood Where she is rooted, I am rooted If she walks, I will walk Her blood is whispering through my veins The shaft of her leg is the shaft of my body and I am her thoughtsWithout telling, without explicitness, the theme of belonging and connection is vital Naomi repeatedly experiences separation and loss She introduces herself at the start, subtly, as discontented, melancholy, but it took me a long time to come to know this later Naomi through the unfolding of the child Naomi s memories Each episode of trauma breaks or damages a strand in the weave that wraps her, affirms her This includes abuse by a neighbour, the many departures of close family members and the loss of language Some of the children attend Japanese language classes but I hear Obasan and Uncle whispering that it is unwise to have us go The RCMP, they are saying, are always looking for signs of disloyalty to CanadaWhile Naomi values her Japanese heritage and traditions, especially bathing, her older brother reacts to the racism around them by rejecting anything too Japanese I liked how this was emphasised by, for example, the different lunches that the two children take to school my lunch that Obasan made is two moist and sticky rice balls with a salty red plum in the center of each, a boiled egg to the side with a tight square of lightly boiled greens Stephen has peanut butter sandwiches, an apple, and a thermos of soup Obasan prepares a nourishing meal for each child, respecting their very different preferences.My favourite sub text is Naomi s awareness of native people When she is speaking as an adult, she mentions that some of the Japanese children in the class she teaches could pass for native, and vice versa Yet, there is no communication Remembering the way the Japanese children shortened and selected their names her full name is Megumi Naomi Nakane to make them as Canadian as possible, she mentions that a native girl was called Annie Black Bear, and was triumphant when the teacher calle her Annie Black by mistake Both groups are subject to racism but its effect is silence and attempts to assimilate, militating against any solidarity between them Naomi recalls playing with a violent young friend, Kenji, who introduces her to a man who lives alone on the edge of their town, Rough Lock Bill This character tells the children the story of how Slocan got its name, from the words used by the natives who first settled there slow can go He repeatedly prods Kenji and Naomi to talk, to respond, but they are taciturn, especially Naomi Birds could all talk once Bird language Now all they can say is their own names That s all Can t say anythan their names Just like some people Specially in the city, eh Me, me, me He jabs his chest with his thumb and grunts But smart peple don t talk too much Redskins know that The King bird warned them a long time ago Rough Lock Bill gives up the conversation at this point, but returns to save Naomi from drowning later In this exchange, he offers the opportunity to break silence, but indicates respect for Naomi s choice to keep it He speaks of the Indians Redskins as others, but we suspect that he is talking about his own people Like the Japanese, he distances himself from a maligned identity.Despite this silence, the inclusion demonstrates an awareness that issues of belonging and connection for migrant settlers like the Japanese can t be isolated from the issue of Canada as stolen land, of the state as genocidal expropriator Emily, for instance, expresses deep allegiance to the state, and is forced into a critical attitude by events For Naomi, belonging is in both culture and land, and the forced migration she experiences sensitises her to tension between them.We might expect the recovery of memories, though painful, to bring healing, but the discoveries it leads to, relating to the USA s bombing of Nagasaki with nuclear weapons, are devastating Each turn in the narrative is a new wound Repeatedly, Nami asks why remember, why speak This act cannot raise the dead, undo the violence, bring back what is lost Yet, spurred by Emily, who treats Obasan with such profound disrespect we know there must be yetunsaid, Naomi and Joy Kogawa have broken the silence that Obasan held to protect them all, like a shield absorbing a terrible impact, and now that they are strong enough to speak, will there be an answer Based On The Author S Own Experiences, This Award Winning Novel Was The First To Tell The Story Of The Evacuation, Relocation, And Dispersal Of Canadian Citizens Of Japanese Ancestry During The Second World War This Quiet Novel Burns In Your Hand Washington Post