Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

I must admit before reading this book I didn't know much about or even think about the situation between Korea and Japan during WWII. I found this story really easy to get into and full of action and emotion, which I enjoyed.The Japanese-American author's retelling of the harrowing experiences of her escape as a child from Korea at the end of World War II. The eleven year-old child was driven from her delightful life and home in northern Korea. It was interesting not only to read the effect of war on an innocent family trapped in a period of hardships (World War II), but also the fact that the innocent family was of Japanese background, thereby causing hatred toward their kind. The simple text added to the book because the main character is of a young age, therefore showing the story in her perspective, and her thoughts. This book is worth for discussions among people especially who are aware of Asian history.

1 comment:

  1. This book is not worth reading because it was made for international political purposes, not for education. Most of the facts are distorted in this book:

    There were no North-Korean soldiers in 1945 (they existed after 3 years), and the location of where the author claims to have been when she was young did not have the right condition for bamboo trees to grow back then (Nanam). She also claims to have seen and heard bombs explode due to US air-force planes, but B-29s did not have fuel tanks large enough to fly all the way to Korea (nor were there ANY records of bombing in Korea at that time). Also, the United States ORDERED the Japanese soldiers occupying in Korea to be left ARMED until every Japanese civilians were escorted back to their homeland. Thus if Japanese civilians were REALLY raped, chances are, they were raped by their own people.

    So what do we have left from this novel? Just a fictional book that distorts history in a very ironic way (Considering the fact that the Japanese soldiers RAPED and MURDERED Korean women at wartime for pleasure. They actually had the nerves to call these women 'Comfort Girls'). The book title should be renamed as "So Far from History and the Truth"

    It's like Hitler claiming that he was tortured by the Jews in the Holocaust. Sounds like a nice book for young kids and adults eh?