So Far from the Bamboo Grove

( 106 )

Overview

In the final days of World War II, Koreans were determined to take back control of their country from the Japanese and end the suffering caused by the Japanese occupation. As an eleven-year-old girl living with her Japanese family in northern Korea, Yoko is suddenly fleeing for her life with her mother and older sister, Ko, trying to escape to Japan, a country Yoko hardly knows.

Their journey is terrifying—and remarkable. It's a true story of courage and survival that highlights...

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So Far from the Bamboo Grove

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Overview

In the final days of World War II, Koreans were determined to take back control of their country from the Japanese and end the suffering caused by the Japanese occupation. As an eleven-year-old girl living with her Japanese family in northern Korea, Yoko is suddenly fleeing for her life with her mother and older sister, Ko, trying to escape to Japan, a country Yoko hardly knows.

Their journey is terrifying—and remarkable. It's a true story of courage and survival that highlights the plight of individual people in wartime. In the midst of suffering, acts of kindness, as exemplified by a family of Koreans who risk their own lives to help Yoko's brother, are inspiring reminders of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

A fictionalized autobiography in which eleven-year-old Yoko escapes from Korea to Japan with her mother and sister at the end of World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. May
Children's Literature - Judith Gravitz
This is a true adventure story about Yoko, a resilient eleven-year-old Japanese heroine, who lives with her family in northern Korea. The events unfold during the height of the Second World War; the Korean people are beginning to retaliate against the Japanese who have ruled over them for years. Yoko is forced to flee her home with her mother and sister, leaving her brother who is working for the Japanese army and her father who works in Manchuria. This is the story of their exodus, mostly on foot, and their success at avoiding the Korean army and their ultimate arrival in Japan. Middle-grade readers will empathize with her fears, aching feet, hunger pains and rivalry with her older sister in this gripping tale of a young girl's courage. 1994 (orig.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is Watkins' autobiographical account of her escape from Korea to Japan at the end of W.W.II. It is a gripping and gutsy tale. 1994 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688131159
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 104,690
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Yoko Kawashima Watkins received The Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts, which cited her as an "inspiration to young people throughout America and the world."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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.

In darkness Mother checked windows and doors. I was eleven, Ko sixteen. I was very tired and my head was so dizzy I did not know which way I was heading. The cool night air swept my face; still my head was not clear, I saw Mother close the main entrance and lock it.

"Now give me your wrist, Little One," she commanded in a low voice.

I was called "Little One" by my parents and Ko, but my older brother, Hideyo, always teasing, called me "Noisy One" because I often screamed when I was teased and when we frolicked in the house.

My wrist? I hadn't had a night's sleep in two weeks because of the air raids. My head was very hazy.

"Hurry!" Mother found my wrist in the darkness. She was tying a rope to it. "So I won't lose you."

Tying Ko's wrist, she asked, her voice full of worry, "You did leave a note for your father?"

"Yes, Mother."

"I left a note for Hideyo," said Mother. "Oh, I hope he finds it and joins us. He can get in through his window. Now remember, no one knows we are leaving. No matter what, until we reach the train stationbe silent. Understand?"

"Yes," Ko said again. I wanted to cry.

Though we lived in northeastern Korea, we were Japanese. My country, Japan, which I had never seen, had been fightingAmerica and Britain for four years. Because Father was a Japanese government official, working in Manchuria, I had grown up in this ancient town. We were fifty miles from the Manchurian border, and we were so close to the Russian ports, Vladivostok and Nakhodka, across the sea from our harbor. Father came home by train as often as he could.

The shadow of war had been creeping across our peaceful village for months. The most horrible shock had come some weeks before. Mother and I were alone and I was practicing my brush-writing before going to my teacher's house for a calligraphy lesson. Calligraphy is dipping a fat or thin brush in India ink and writing in script or in the square style of Chinese characters.

I had finished my final copy when four Japanese army police burst in through the main door of our house, which only invited guests used, without taking off their shoes.

A mean-looking policeman told Mother, "We are here to collect metal. Iron, bronze, silver, and gold."

Mother stood, bewildered, and he yelled at her.

She gave him Father's treasured silver ashtray set. He threw it in a box and demanded, "More!"

Mother brought her bronze flower vase that stood in the Tokonoma (alcove), where flowers were always elegantly arranged. She began to pull the lovely arrangement of irises out one by one, and the policeman pushed her, yanked out the irises and leaves, and dumped the vase and heavy metal frog inside into the box. Mother's eyes were fixed on that box, but she was silent.

The head one noticed Mother's wedding ring and he demanded that. Then her spectacles, goldrimmed, though she told him she could see nothing without them. They went into the box.

Finally the head police picked up the Mount Fuji paperweight holding my calligraphy copy. That paperweight had been sent to me by Father's mother.

She said it had been passed on to my father from way back and she could still see my father, when young, using it to practice brush-writing. Through this Mount Fuji paperweight I dreamed of seeing the majestic mountain and imagined the beauty of my homeland.

He glanced at my writing, "Bu Un Cho Kyu" (Good Luck in War), then left the sheet and tossed the paperweight into the box.

I had stood there helpless, fists clenched, seething, and the iron weight smashing Mother's important lenses released my fury. I jumped at the head policeman's hand and bit it as hard as I could.

He yelled, but I bit harder. He shook me off, pushed Mother away and made her fall. Then he threw me on the floor and kicked my side and back with heavy army boots that had hard soles with metal cleats. My head went dark. Somewhere in the dark space I heard Mother's anguished cry. "Leave...leave!"

When I awoke, Hideyo, Ko, Mother, and Doctor Yamada were around me. The doctor was a friend of Father's who always treated his patients with a smile, but not this time. He gave me a shot.

Mother was putting a cold towel on my back. Every time I took a deep breath my chest and side pained, and the doctor said I might have cracked ribs. He looked at me through his half-glasses. "No more frolicking, no more crossing the stream. You stay home until I say all right."

He turned to Mother. "I will call my optometrist friend and he will prescribe lenses for you. This is absolutely inexcusable of the military," he said angrily. "The government must be desperate for supplies to make ammunition. Telephone me if a thing like this happens again."

His bald head was shining against the late afternoon sun, and in spite of my misery I remembered what he had said to Father once when he came to the New Year's party — that he must invent a solution to grow black wavy hair.

I was glad I did not have to go to school the next day. For a long time, school had been changing. We studied for only three periods, and the male teachers were wearing army uniforms. Women and girls had to wear the national clothes, by order of Japanese Prime Minister Tojo — khaki pants gathered at the ankles, simply designed long-sleeved blouses.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 106 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

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(47)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Distorting history should be a crime!!

    Truthfully, Korea was invaded by Japan and was taken a long time ago. If you check history maps, you will see that in the beginning of WWII Korea was still a colony. It is a proven fact that Koreans were taken to camps that were like Concentration Camps for Japanese. Koreans still live today that were harassed by brutal Japanese. Lets speak logic, if Koreans came up and raped a girl, would Japan let them get away for its colonies behaving so badly? No. That is why it is the opposite. That would mean it had to be Japan raping Korea. In other words, Korea is a colony of Japan. Japan has soldiers. If Japanese were raped by Koreans, would the Koreans exist? Could it even be possible, with the constant threat of being killed if they raped a Japanese? But if a Japanese raped a Korean, why would the government care? Korea was taken over so then they can't do anything. Also, how do we know that these facts are true? Do they have proof that Koreans did this? This book is very distorted. You must agree. After invading Korea, the official government of Japan ordered officially the raping of Korean Girls. The government sent captured Koreans over to the Japanese army. They women A.K.A. the 'comfort women' were raped and harassed by the army. Shame, and this was officially allowed by the Japanese government. There are a couple type of people in this world. One type is generous and doesn't seek revenge. Other people can't help it but feel angry and take revenge for what people did. One or two ANGRY Koreans might have raped a Japanese but that was personal. It still was wrong but it was better than what the Japanese did. Their government had ordered them to RAPE and SEXUALLY HARRASS KOREAN WOMEN. Special Army unit 731 was a drafted army made out of Chinese and Koreans. This unit was an 'experiment'. The government tested many things on them. For example 'How long would a person have to work to lose his finger?' This was one of the things they tested on the drafted soldiers. They even did not see them as 'humans'. They called them logs. Logs are the tree parts that were cut. Logs are dead and not alive. They could not see them as human or how could they test on them. They did things that we don't do to animals today. Another thing the Japanese tested on them was to see how much body parts a person had to lose before he died. How long would people have to last in steam before they suffocated and died. This is an act of shame. Animals get better treatments than this. How shameful to write a book against Koreans when all this has happened, if you are going to tell a story, TELL THE WHOLE STORY. In conclusion, I do not understand how this book got into a middle school curriculum. Even though this story MAY(very small chance though) be true, this book is very biased and did not tell the whole story. I think this book needs to be worked on and corrected. Many mistakes are in the book and distorts Korean History and that changes many things. Just let me say one more thing, how would Japanese people like it if I happened to write a book about the REAL story with the whole history in it. Maybe that will clear things up. Just food for thought huh?

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    So Far from the Bamboo Grove

    It is even more important to point out how faith and wrong information continues to divert the real history issues when the author solely relied on her own experience. The danger of this book is being felt in innumerable ways, and the danger goes on growing in terms of brainwashing of children. Her writing is good enough for us to blind emotionally, despite the fact that Japanese actually invaded Korea and committed cruel crimes, such as killing and sending Korean girls into the World War II battle zone as sex slaves for Japanese troops. At first I thought it is both odd and a mistake to refer her home in Korea as 'bamboo groove', which Bamboo can not grow in the northern part in Korea, the setting of this book. However, I can not blame her because I figured out it is not her fault. Mirroring the fact that even current Japanese students do not learn at school what their ancestors had done for other Asian countries, I assumed that she had not received the right information what had happened really in Korea before 1945. What the author was able to do was just relying on her memory, which could be adulterated.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    not true...

    I don't like it.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    What a poor author

    You should read some Asian history books before you wrote this book. I cannot believe this book which is used as a reading material for students. This must give the students lies.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2007

    Context...context...context...

    First, So Far from the Bamboo Grove is a well-written story of survival, and Ms. Watkins has done an excellent job to bring her alleged experience to life. Her lack of historical contexts, if not complete absence of such, however is at the very least grossly irresponsible. Unsuspecting young minds will question the 'ungratefulness' of the Korean people, as they are portrayed as 'part of the Japanese empire.' They will come home asking, 'Why Koreans are so bad to Yoko?' Ms. Watkins have had decades to put her experience into perspective in larger context of Koreans-Japanese relationship during WWII, and yet she chose to ignore them. Yoko as an 11-year old girl has every right to see her experience 'as is'. Ms. Watkins as an adult, I'm afraid, does not have the same luxury. Second, questions have risen on the historical accuracies of the book. One may question how accurate a sixth-grader book should be, but much of the power of Ms. Watkins' book derives from it. Some are minors such as, 'Does bamboo really grow in cold climate of North Korea? to majors such as, 'Which Anti-Japanese Communist Party is she referring to?' Kim, Il-Sung didn't enter Northen part of Korea until late 1945, and the Party actually was not established until 1948. Third, Some historical contexts taken from other reviewer: 1. Japan forcibly colonialized Korea in 1910 until her independence in 1945. 2. During the brutal colonialization, Koreans are prohibited to use the Korean language, and are forced to adopt Japanese name. False imprisonments and tortures of Korean citizens are commonplace. 3. Young men (numbering in the hundreds of thousands) are forcibly drafted to support Japan's war efforts on the frontline. 4. Girls (as young as 12 years of age and numbering close to 200,000) are uprooted from their home and family to work as 'sex slaves' to Japanese soldiers. They are often forced to served as many as 30 'guests' a day. That means 6 millions 'organized' rapes against Korean women occured everyday since 1943.(The year the practice started) 5. Holocaust denials are punishable offence in most European countries, and yet popular ultra-nationalist Japanese politicians often deny any wrongdoings of Japanese military during WW2 (even those convicted in war crimes tribunal).

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2007

    Poor

    this book is just a another japanese imperialism book, dont get me wrong, I am not predijuce against japanese, but I am predijusce against ths book. This book is just a lie. I cant believe so many people is reading this and believing it. First of all like the other people wrote review Koreans were the victim. Millions of Koreans were drifted to army, and Korean girls were used as a sex slve. All I want to do is to meet this Yoko and call her a lier and a fraud in front of everyone. Also as a novel it sucked

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Excellent story

    This book was really well written. it tells an often untold story about what happened in Korea as the war was endend. The characters are well developed and the storyline is heartwrenching. I would hesitate to let younger children read this, because of some of the content

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Book by a historical revisionist

    Yes. The ones criticizing the book are probably mostly Koreans. Well, if Japan didn't forcibly force Korean women to become sex slaves for the Japanese military, scar them for life, and claim that this never, ever happened, then a third party would have the right to think that Koreans are just whiners. The problem is that 'comfort women' do exist much to some people's dismay. 'Comfort women' are among millions of people oppressed by Imperialist Japan. This book distorts the truth and portrays Koreans as a rapist when it's really the other way around!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    Falsification of History

    This book is awful in historical context, Yoko paints life on the Korean penninsula poorly and wrongly. The life of the Korean people after Japanese annexation was horrible, atrocious. When the annexation began, the Japanese imperialist power murdered a Korean Queen MyungSeung and forcibly removed Korean Princes from their homelands. None of the horrible things that happended during the Japanese annexation is mentioned, and this book portrays the Koreans as savages, which is completely untrue, if anything, the Japanes are savages in the context that many of the cultural potteries were taken from the Korean penninsula. Perhaps the author should have researched a bit more about the history of the Korean penninsula before she decided to pen this book. Do not let anyone read this book, its books like these that distort history and defaces the values that were learned from history.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2007

    wrong wrong wrong,,

    This book only gives you all the wrong history fact.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    So Far from the Bamboo Grove

    She claims this is a true story. Well, not true in so many ways. First in Nanam, where she claimed she lived, bamboo can't grow. So she lied from her title. Full of lies, you don't want your children read this garbage. Outstanding lies.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    so far from the truth

    despite many historical errors in this book, i have no problem with the author exercising her first amendment right or consumers spending their time and money in whatever and however way it pleases them. however, i have problem with this book's target audience being children ages 9 to 12 since it places things out of perspective. remember, yoko's people/ govt/ father were the oppressor and people she claims to have resented her people (aka koreans) were the oppressed. many korean (+ other asian such as chinese and filipino) girls her age at the time were being kidnapped to be sexual slaves for the japanese soldiers. yoko may have enjoyed happy life in america after her horrible experience while her counterpart asian girls spent rest of their life in hopelessness and destitution. as a korean-american, i personally have nothing against the author or the japanese people. i just do not want my child or any children for that matter to read this book in school since there is nothing educational about this book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2010

    Absolute garbage

    The only people who think this is a good book are kids and teachers who are 100% ignorant about East Asian History and Japanese and/or their whapanese spouses. This book is garbage. You don't teach kids books about portray a KKK family "escaping" from blacks in the deep South in 1960's. You don't teach kids books that portray a daughter of a Nazi soldier from a concentration camp in Poland "escaping" from freed Jewish Holocaust survivors. All the anti-censoringship BS was organized and led by book sellers who make mucho dinero hawking this book to schools across the US who have NO INTEREST whatsoever in history, truth or educational integrity. Don't be a tool and stop forcing innocent kids on this moral garbage of a book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2008

    So Far From the Bamboo Grove By: Yoko Kawashima Watkins

    The beginning of this story takes place in northern Korea in 1945,during World War II. The main character is an 11 year old Japanese girl by the name of Yoko. Yoko lived in a beautiful home in the bamboo groves of the Nanam, Korea. She lived there with her older sister, Ko, and her mother. They are forced to leave their home for the fear of losing their lives. During that time, Japan had ruled over northern Korea. In the mist of the war, the Korean people begin to rebel against Japan. It became a very hostile environment toward Japanese people in Korea.<BR/><BR/>The mother and daughters leave their home with a note telling their eldest brother, Hideyo, of where they are going. The three flee as refugees to Japan. Along that journey are some terrible times. They have to constantly be aware of the presence of the Korean Army. They first begin their journey on a train. The conditions on the train are horrific. There are dead bodies littered throughout every train car. They sneak off the train and run for their lives. The rest of their journey is mostly on foot. The mother and daughters travel through the woods to keep from being seen by the Korea Army.<BR/> <BR/>They have a couple encounters with some soldiers. During every encounter, the three barely escape rape or death. They eventually arrive in Japan. Much to their surprise, it is not what they expected. They arrive at their relatives house and find them all dead. Their mother becomes severely ill and the girls are left to fend for themselves. <BR/><BR/>I enjoyed the book because it is based of a true life experience. It gives a sense of motivation to me because I could not even imagine going through what they went through. It also makes one realize not to take things for granted. This book is a very good example of the will to live. These women are truly an inspiration.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!!!

    I love this Book!! It is soo amazing! The best book i have ever read. I would tell anyone to read it at any age from 10 up. It is an amazing book. I still cant belevie that this is what Yoko really did. It truely is the best book you will ever read. I am going to read it again for the second time! At first I thought that I would not like it but as the story continued it became a lovely piece of writing!! I will say it again it is the best book EVER nothing more. Everyone will love this amazing story!! So read it!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2007

    Amazing!

    This book was part of my summer reading because I am in honors and I thought all of my books would be boring. I hated reading books, but when I began to read this book, I was completely blown away. I couldn't believe that this was a real survival story. All though it may have a few inappropriate moments, that does not mean it is not a great book. This book is packed with action and drama. In some parts I almost cried. This book has definetly changed how I look at life now. I have learned to appreciate everything I have and to be grateful while I still have it. The way this book ended made me very curious, so I decided to look up Yoko Kawashima and found out that there was a sequel. Now I can't wait until I read My Brother, My Sister, and I. Please give the book a chance. Don't take as an offense because it talks about the Koreans... It is a real survival story. You will definetly love it.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Why the Hate?

    I am going to reply to these past comments because they have affected me a great deal. Let me first say that I am Korean. Let me also say that I have read the book. And finally, let me state that I read the book before I knew about any of this deeply-rooted anger. The book in itself (and this is to those who want to read the book for purely literary purposes) is excellently told. It is a very emotional tale, and I found it to be quite personal and moving when I first read it. Now, maybe, as some people say, because I am Korean, I will rant off into a deeply prejudice and indignant speech condemning this book. Acutally, To quote Oscar Wilde, 'There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.' I find this to be especially true for situations such as these when books are considered innacurate and there are politically incorrect statements flying about everywhere. In other words, I have no ill-will towards this book. Rather, I am offended by few of the previous commentors who constantly repeat the word 'idiot' and many other derogatory terms, used in the context of Koreans. Please refrain from attacking a large group of people because a few previous Korean commentors left distasteful remarks, which is quite understandable considering the barrier between the two cultures. I apologize for side-tracking into a non critique-related topic, but I felt it necessary, and I must say that as for the book, it is left up to the reader whether or not he/she wants to read it, and whether he/she belives it. Not everybody reads history textbooks in relation to stories in order to verify its accuracy, but that is what school and life is for.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    Is it OK to distort?

    Granted, it is possible that the 'minor'(as one reviewer mentioned) account of rape is true. The multiple inaccuracies throughout the book leave serious doubt whether it happened. On rather light note, bamboo grove did not and does not exist in the northen part of Korea. Ms. Watkins later corrected herself in an interview that it was perhaps 'tall bamboo grass.' The American bombing didn't happened, as public records show. She later said interview that it might be Russians since she doesn't know 'much about bombs.' The Koreans did not have Communist Party until 1948. Il-Sung Kim actually didn't arrive in northen Korea until late 1945. I wonder which communist soldiers she is referring true. Yes, it is possible that there was band of communist guerillas around. But, there were still hundreds, yes hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers and polices around. How is it possible for the guerillas to go about in public? A survival story draws much of its strength from the tragedy its protagonist endured, and yet so many instances are fabricated. Yoko's mom(the one who died in the story) was still living in Japan in 1952, and so was her grand mother(also died in the story). Ms. Watkins is a great story-teller, but her recollection is shaky at best, and she shouldn't go around schools touting this book as her autobiography.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2007

    B&N should select reviews

    I wonder if it is worthwhile reading the bad reviews after around January 20th, 2007. There were emotional reports in Korean media about this book, and the Koreans have been making collective efforts to 'erase' this book from the public. It's simplistic, nationalistic, quite emotional attitude and I bet they evaluate the book simply from the information reported in the newspaper. They simply don't want to believe what some of their people did just after the war because they want to put on the mask of victimhood to gain more benefit. 100 people view the history in 100 ways, and this book is about HER experience. Even though this book may not be suitable for class use without larger context of history, it does not mean this book is bad. I hope people with rational mind would understand the power of ideology in one country that creates collective memory not supported by evidence, and it drives the fanatics to madness.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    So Far from the Bamboo Grove

    I would read it, but not my children.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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