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50
3.6 out of 5 stars
Obasan: Modern Classics
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on November 6, 2007
I admit, I wasn't impressed when I was first told to read this for my English class. It seemed a little boring. But as I got into the book it started leaving me with so many questions. It's the kind of book that you have to finish just to see what happens in the end. It's so full of symbolism, though it's a little difficult to understand it all. The chickens were just weird. I can understand the symbolism of it, but they were brought up way too much for my liking.

Overall the book was good. It makes a lot more sense when you have a class to discuss it with. I did, however, find the journal entries very boring [I never actually read them..]. There were bits that were too graphic for my taste, and I'm a big fan of gore. But it's overkill after a point. The last few chapters are just beautiful. They're extremely well written and I feel in love with them the minute I read them.

The book has very good messages portrayed through the whole thing.

I would give it a five if not for the confusion and gore factors. It's definitely a book that makes you think and one more appropriate for a group setting than something to just read on your own.
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on December 3, 2001
I read Obasan once and thought that it was quite a different perspective. I mean, different perspective, by saying that most WWII stories take place in the U.S.A., but Kogawa has brilliantly let the reader rediscover Naomi, the main character's, experiences during the war through the eyes of Naomi. A short version of what happens is Naomi has a close family member that dies and she begins to recap her past that she was hoping to forget.
She grew up in Vancouver Canada. Her mother than decides to go to Japan to attend some other family business, then WWII begins when she is gone. Naomi is then left with her brother Stephen and her father. They are soon relocated to other parts of Canada being criticized about their heritage of being Japanese. Obasan to me is a well-written short novel that really well does explain Naomi's life but almost with a poetic sense. I would have to say the only thing that I was disappointed with was the fact that the book was very slow at the beginning and a bit confusing but eventually comes together towards the end.
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on December 1, 1998
The author is Japanese-Canadian like the main character Naomi in this novel. This novel is based on what author experienced. The story begins a couple of decades after WW II. The main character is in mid-thirty's. Suddenly her uncle died and she goes to see her aunt, Obasan. When she goes there, she starts reading her another aunt's diary and starts to remember how Japanese Canadians were treated during WW II. Naomi, a Japanese Canadian, is a 35-year-old school teacher. Even though she was born and raised in Canada just like her brother Stephan, She has more Japanese side in her. She is not totally Canadian nor Japanese. Her character is just like the status of Japanese Canadian during WW II, belonging both or belonging nowhere. The novel is about how immigrants from Japan were treated during WW II. It's about how they were accpted or denied from Canada. It's about the pane, such as alienation, they went through because their orgin is different.
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on March 15, 2002
Joy Kogawa explained very clearly what happened to the Japanese people in Canada during WW 2. The story was very well, and you could still follow all the things that happened to the people. Everything becomes very clear.
The story is told through the eyes of Naomi Nakane, the main character, who wants to find out what happened to the past, the time when the Japanese people were haunted down. She kind of begins telling the story from when she was 5 and it all started. Her mother had to leave Canada and go to Japan. Until she was an adult, Naomi didn't find out why her mom never came back and why she never got the letters she wrote.
Obasan is Naomi's aunt who practically raised her (since age five). Obasan was always silent and never told Naomi about the past. Naomi gest a package from her other aunt Emily with all kinds of information about what happened in the past. So she finds out all the details.
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on November 16, 1999
This book is very touching, and I think the authors use of putting eveyone to sleep is quite annoying. I just think that there is to much descriptiveness on objects, how things sit and look, how they fuction and what they do. It can get boring. Although minus that, and you have a great book!
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on January 10, 2015
Thought I could use this as a read aloud to my kids, but it is difficult to understand when read out loud. Too choppy. However, it is a good and important read for any Canadian who wishes to understand more about our history during the wars.
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on July 13, 2015
I met the author at a function in Toronto at the Japanese Cultural Centre but there was no books to purchase. I am glad I had a chance to grab this one from Amazon and it was signed.
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