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In 1936, eight-year-old Mary tosses one end of a streamer over the ship railing to her father on the San Francisco pier below so he can hold on, prolonging their fragile connection as the ship slowly slides out to sea headed for Japan, taking Mary from her California birthplace to stay with her grandparents, hoping for more educational opportunities. Neither Mary nor her immigrant parents anticipate the tragic events that impact her family both in the U.S. and in Japan.
Most books about the Japanese American experience center on the tragedy of the internment camps during World War II. Japanese American citizens and non-citizens were forced to leave their homes and most of their belongings to be imprisoned as enemy aliens in camps located in desolate areas of the United States. Mary's experiences are different, reflecting the dual perspective of her links to both countries.
My East, My West relates the life of Mary Matsui, a Japanese American woman, whose early life as an American girl in rural northern California radically changes when her parents decide to send her and her sister to Japan for schooling. Unlike many Japanese Americans who were interned in camps after Pearl Harbor, Mary finds herself in the country of her ancestors while it rages war against the land of her birth.
Her story shows the resilience of a youthful spirit who manages to find humor and strength, scrambling during air raids, laboring as a teenager in a bomb factory, and struggling to recover both in Japan and in America after the end of the war. Along with her compelling life experiences Mary offers glimpses into lives of many people she gets to know along the way...'picture brides' and war brides, a kamikaze pilot, a Japanese American interned in a camp in the U.S. who thought Japan had won the war, an American GI who landed with the first Occupation Forces to enter Japan,,, and many others.
This book is a fascinating tale, richly illustrated by archival family photos, which reveals a special look at history as it was lived by real people.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.59(d)|