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So Far from the Bamboo Grove
So Far from the Bamboo Grove (Paperback)
by Yoko Kawashawa Watkins "IT WAS ALMOST MIDNIGHT ON JULY 29, 1945, when my mother, my elder sister Ko, and I, carrying as many of our belongings as we..." (more)
Key Phrases: honorable sister, honorable brother, wrapping cloth, Little One, Corporal Matsumura, Korean Communist (more...)
(148 customer reviews)    
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Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
This riveting novel, based on the author's own experiences, describes a Japanese family forced to flee their home in Korea at the end of WW II. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up A true account that is filled with violence and death, yet one that is ultimately a story of family love and life. Eleven-year-old Yoko Kawashima had led a peaceful and secure life as the daughter of a Japanese government official stationed in North Korea near the end of World War II. Abruptly, all is changed as she, her older sister Ko, and their mother flee the vengeance-seeking North Korean Communists and eventually make their way to an unwelcoming and war-ravaged Japan. Yoko's story is spellbinding. She often escapes death by mere chance; her brother, Hideyo, separated from the family, has an equally harrowing escape. The longed-for arrival in Japan proves to be an almost greater trial, as their mother, defeated by the discovery that all their Japanese relatives are dead, dies. Together, Yoko and Ko create a home in which to await the return of Hideyo. Watkins writes clearly and movingly, with a straightforward style through which the story unfolds quickly. She skillfully alternates her account of the girls' journey with that of their brother, maintaining readers' interest in both. Watkins is able to describe scenes of death, rape, and other atrocities with a simple directness which has no trace of sensationalism yet in no way diminishes their horror. Readers will be riveted by the events of the escape and struggle for survival, and enriched and inspired by the personalities of the family. Especially well drawn is Yoko's gradual emergence from a frightened, whining child to a strong and courageous young girl. Parallels can be drawn to Holocaust survival stories such as Aranka Siegal's Upon the Head of the Goat (Farrar, 1981) and Esther Hautzig's The Endless Steppe (Crowell, 1968). So Far from the Bamboo Grove should have a place among the finest of them. Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, N.J.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

Inside This Book (learn more)
First Sentence:
IT WAS ALMOST MIDNIGHT ON JULY 29, 1945, when my mother, my elder sister Ko, and I, carrying as many of our belongings as we could on our backs, fled our home in its bamboo grove, our friends, and our town, Nanam, in northern Korea, forever. Read the first page
Key Phrases - Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more)
honorable sister, honorable brother, wrapping cloth, savings book, train whistled, furnace room
Key Phrases - Capitalized Phrases (CAPs): (learn more)
Little One, Corporal Matsumura, Korean Communist, Miss Asada, Hee Cho, Hee Wang, Major Ryu, Miss Kawashima, Doctor Takeda, Miss Yoko
Concordance | Text Stats
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Customer Reviews
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Apology, January 21, 2007
Reviewer:Morida Takashi (Tyler, TX) - See all my reviews
On behalf of all the other "normal" Japanese, I do apologize for those obssesive insanity of 'shjb' (aka delta ). He is a disgrace to Japanese society. Gomen nasai.

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

japanese people's political artifact. , January 21, 2007
Reviewer:Shinwoo Kim (NY, USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a result of japanese people's subtle political artifact. They are trying to mislead the world without regreting what they did to the rest of the world. You can read this book, but bear in mind that they did worse things to Koreans.

If german complains about Jewish people by raping their woman during the war time, it would be a total nonsense. This book is like a German complaining about what the Jews did during the war time. Got it?

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Not recommend at all !!! Shame on the author!!!!!!!!, January 21, 2007
Reviewer:I. Lucks "True Color" (USA) - See all my reviews
This book is all about lies. I wasted time and money.
Shame on the auther!!!!! I couldn't believe what the author was thinking and writing ?????
It shouldn't be used in school,and School Committee should review this one very carefully.
I want to say " too far from the truth ".
By the way, 0 star is needed here. even 1star is too much here.

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful:

Never recommended, January 20, 2007
Reviewer:H. Kang "History Philosophy" (UT, USA) - See all my reviews
I've heard about this book with diverse opinions from my friends and others... Since I am a history geek (especailly, Asian history)I had to read this book to figure out the rumor. My conclusion is, this book is very distorted and deviated from the truth.
I was very wondering that how is the author possibiliy published this book in the name of 'the fact of the history?' This is not a fact. Just distorted Korean history which is written by very opinionated Japanese.
Again, if you are a reader who got decent educational background with common sense, you will certainly fail to see this book as a great resource to understand the history of Korea and Japan.

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

Sad and scary to mislead the youth..., January 20, 2007
Reviewer:J. MIN "'truth is out there'" (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I was appalled to hear that this book was chosen as teaching tool and read by so many youth and they have rated this book highly. This book is utter fiction and if you have any little knowledge and background fact of that era should know. Yoko, I wonder how you can sleep at night after this. So far from the truth, it makes me pity you.

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful:

Shame on you Yoko, January 20, 2007
Reviewer:Sunam Lee "Peace to all only who deserve" (OC CA. USA) - See all my reviews
White lies....
Remember what you Japanese pepole have done to Asian people, especially in Korea in the past for the notorious 36 years of colonial times.

We can forgive the past, however, can not forget what you have done.
Shame on you Yoko.

-Restless with fury in irvine California -

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