Obasan Joy Kogawa Summary

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In Obasan, Joy Kogawa, a Japanese-Canadian author, explores the experiences of Japanese-Canadians during World War 2, through the eyes of the main character, Naomi. The book explores how silence, which results from Naomi’s extended family, has became huge part of Naomi’s upbringing.The racism and the loss of family is something some of the Japanese-Canadians experienced, which is shown in this book.This book defines political and cultural connections between the Japanese immigrants of Canada. These events nearly destroyed families, a culture and a way of life. The war had a horrible effect on the Japanese-Canadians. People were denying their heritage and the Japanese parents didn’t let their kids play with other kids because of their race.The…show more content…
Anyone who was of Japanese heritage was systematically removed from their homes and sent to internment camps. The money was used to pay the realtors and auctioneers and to handle fees and cover storage. The money remaining usually were given as small allowances to the people living in internment camps.The Japanese Canadians had to pay for their own internment. The federal cabinet was headed by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and and he was the one who deemed the internment of Japanese-Canadians.This decision was unwarranted. Even the Department of National Defence and the RCMP showed evidence that it was…show more content…
Many of them moved to Ontario, The Prairies and Quebec and in 1946, around 4,000 were exiled to Japan. On August 4, 1944, Prime Minister King stated: ‘’It is a fact that no person of Japanese race born in Canada has been charged with any act of sabotage or disloyalty during the years of war.’’
The final stage of the Japanese-Canadians struggle for justice and identification as full Canadian citizens was the Redress movement in 1980. In 1949, all of the restrictions on the Japanese Canadians were taken away and they were given full citizenship rights. They officially marked the end of internment camps.The Japanese-Canadians had the right to vote and to return back to the West Coast. However, there wasn 't a home to go back to. The Japanese-Canadian community was destroyed in B.C.
Reconstructing their lives and their community wasn’t easy for the Japanese-Canadians. It was too late for some of them. The elder Japanese-Canadians had lost mostly everything they had worked for their whole lives and they didn’t have enough time to start fresh. Many Japanese- Canadians had their education ruined and couldn’t afford to go to any university or college. Many of them had to earn money to support their family. Many had gone thorough psychological
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