Five Years On A Rock

( 1 )

Overview

Milton Murayama returns to the places and people of his earlier fiction - to the sugar plantation company towns and sleepy villages of Maui, and to the resilient Oyama family. Five Years on a Rock is the story of Sawa Oyama, the mother who plays a major role in All I Asking for Is My Body. In a spirited voice full of courage and wit, Sawa tells of her arrival in Hawaii in 1915 as a seventeen-year-old picture bride. But her hope of returning to Japan after "five years on a rock" wanes as the five years stretch to ...
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Overview

Milton Murayama returns to the places and people of his earlier fiction - to the sugar plantation company towns and sleepy villages of Maui, and to the resilient Oyama family. Five Years on a Rock is the story of Sawa Oyama, the mother who plays a major role in All I Asking for Is My Body. In a spirited voice full of courage and wit, Sawa tells of her arrival in Hawaii in 1915 as a seventeen-year-old picture bride. But her hope of returning to Japan after "five years on a rock" wanes as the five years stretch to twenty, during which six children are born, her husband's fishing business succeeds then fails, and the family debt grows. Overworked and sick with worry, Sawa loses all her teeth and falls deathly ill, the victim, she believes, of someone else's bachi (divine retribution). She recovers, however, when an aunt dies in her stead, and she returns to her family with renewed vigor and a new set of teeth.
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What People Are Saying

Hifayd Yamamogo
In Five Years on a Rock, we meet the Oyama family of Milton Murayama's classic, all-I'm-asking-for-is-my-body. But this time the story is told by Sawa Oyama, the mother, whose moving story begins when she obediently leaves Japan for Hawaii. She plans to return from that "rock" in five years, but encounters Odysseian obstacles. There is endless labor and little sleep; she gets up in the middle of the night, she swills pigs, she works as a seamstress to supplement the family income, and there's one child after another while her husband's bad luck sinks the family into deepening debt. Sawa is sustained by her Obaban, by those ingrained values from her home rock, and by her own remarkable spirit. This is Murayama's tribute to his mother and all those immigrant women who more than pay their dues. Five years on a Rock is a masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824816773
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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