After the first chapter of this book I thought I had hit upon a goldmine of a book and wondered how anyone dared to rate it less than 4 stars Otsuka draws the reader in by offering up a kaleidoscope of xperiences by a flock of Japanese women clustered in the ship s steerage bound for California as mail order brides Lest you think this is a silly book It is not Here is what I likedOtsuka clearly has researched read her history of Japanese Psychologische Homöopathie. emigration interviewed obsessively to come up with detail words put in the women s mouthstcBy writing the book as she did with Some of us We The Viva Mayr Diet: 14 days to a flatter stomach and a younger you etc the reader can t help identify with this large group of women therefore offering the reader some scope of how much and how many of these women sufferedOtsuka does a wonderful job of spanning thextremes of the women s Aviation Logistics: The Dynamic Partnership of Air Freight and Supply Chain experience on the boat in California as new brides to men they didn t know working for White folks having children and ultimately imprisoned in camps durin My father served in World War 2 Korea and Viet Nam He never really talked too much about any of these wars When we talked about World War 2 the only thing he said was that the American Government s treatment of Japanese Americans was one of the most shameful things we hadver done as a nation at least in his life time He was sickened R High Performance Programming every time he thought of it While he was alive one of his good friends was another retired Colonel named Yamamoto who served with him in World War 2 and beyond which probably accounts for how deeply he felt about this topic I thought of Col Yamamoto and his his son my friend David when I read this book as I did when I read When The Emperor Was Divine which I have heard is now reuired reading in high school in some places as it should be This book isven moving and important The Buddha in the Attic cuts ven deeper going beyond the politics of the time or the politics of fear and gets to the very core of who we are as people not just as a country What we value and what we fear Whether we are Japanese or of any other thnicity the dark and very personal stories in this book speak to all of us and they probably always will Because the only way to resist our husbands had taught us was by not resisting Julie Otsuka The Buddha in the AtticI read Scala for Java Developers entirely too much white male fiction I know this It is familiar and available Abundantven It is The Qur'an, Morality and Critical Reason: The Essential Muhammad Shahrur everywhere So I m trying to reach beyond my normal boundaries Read minority voices listen to another story Otherwise what good is fictionJulie Otsuka s little novella was uick It checks in at 124 pages or so But it sticks with you It carries you It doesn t have one narrator but a chorus of Japanese woman who immigrated to America in thearly 20th century as mail order brides for Japanese laborers in California She follows this beautiful and tragic chorus of woman through a new country a new culture new husbands work loneliness work marriage work children work racism and ventually the FDR s Japanese Concentration Camps of WWII Executive Order 9066Newly married living in Utah I traveled to Delta Utah with my wife and walked around the Topaz War Relocation Center It was haunting The images of dust and isolation came back to me 25 years later as I read this book It was written in 2011 but seems to warn us against the fear we seem to always have of the other Mexicans Muslims Japanese blacks tc We cage them because we don t recognize they are us One of the lines that struck me the most from this short book was on page 124 It was the mayor of a California town speaking after the Japanese have been hauled away Some of the words however came from a speech by Donald Rumsfeld in October of 2001 before Guantanamo was a household word before kids in cages before black sites and waterboarding became associated with America There will be some things that people will see he tells us And there will be some things that people won t see These things happen And life goes onCertainly life will go on but Otsuka s haunting prose her beautiful narrative mantras the pulsing rhythm of her Japanese chorus of women her FPP anonymous narrators will all haunt me for a long time Although a completely different book I was reminded several times while reading this novella of O Brien s The Things They Carried I read The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka as part of my women s history month lineup A well researched historical fictional account Otsuka depicts life for Japanese American immigrants to California over a span of thirty years in the arly 20th century Featuring mail order brides who came to San Francisco to meet their husbands for the first time Otsuka gives a voice to a people whose story would otherwise be lost The women came from all over Japan to sail on a steamship to meet their husbands While huddled and seasick in the ship s hold these women formed instant friendships
That They Hoped Would Lastthey hoped would last they reached America Hoping that life in America would yield a better future than that as a rice farmer the women as young as twelve willingly left behind their families for husbands they only saw in photographsLife in America according to Otsuka was not the American dream depicted in letters The issei first generation Japanese immigrants worked backbreaking jobs as migrant farmers If they didn t farm they became maids or washerwoman The women who were rejected by ither these jobs or their new husbands turned to prostitution The Japanese were lumped with African Americans Mexicans Chinese and other
IMMIGRANTS AS PEOPLE OF COLOR ANDas people of color and forced to do jobs that caucasians would not do As this was during the Jim Crow So B. It era they also got paid meagerarnings for working backbreaking jobs Yet these women and their husbands ndured in hopes that their children would have a better life than the one they toiled at Although slim in length Otsuka places this story in a larger historical context by focusing on placing the Japanese in internment camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor The issei and their nissei second generation American children were viewed as the nemies of the people Placed on lists and rounded up in the middle of the night they were taken away for the duration of the war They packed slim suitcases and left behind valuables ven heirlooms such as the Buddha left behind in an attic The government did not differentiate between the Japanese overseas an. Julie Otsuka’s long awaited follow up to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of conomy and precision a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century agoIn ight incantatory sections The Buddha in the.
Free read ó PDF, Book or Kindle PUB free ´ Julie OtsukaUb because the last thing they want to do is give this book any of their time Some of us won t like it because the lack of an actual plot or timeline Some of us won t like it because of the total lack of any charachter development since there are no actual characters in the book Some of us don t like the title some of us find the title intriguing and for that I am grateful to the author Some of us find this topic interesting and wish the book could have shown me about this hideous time period in our nation s history Some of us have abandoned this book some of us are glad it is over and are moving on to the next book on the shelf and some of us will give Julie Otsuka another chance and read her best seller When the Emporer was Divine This novella has the most lyrical prose I ve read in a long long time It begins on a boat in the arly 1900s with dozens of young Japanese women who were being shipped to husbands in San Francisco to begin new lives The women didn t know it yet but they had been sold a bill of goods They had been promised that their husbands were successful handsome and rich and that they would love living in America but the truth is they would become migrant workers in California and that the women might have been better off staying home in Japan with their families The book gives a breathless kaleidoscopic account of the women s hopes and fears and the hard working lives for which they settledI will share the opening paragraph because I think it is gorgeous On the boat we were mostly virgins We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall Some of us had En plein coeur eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves Some of us came from the city and wore stylish city clothes but many of us came from the country and on the boat we wore the same old kimonos we d been wearing for years faded hand me downs from our sisters that had been patched and redyed many times Some of us came from the mountains and had never before seen the seaxcept for in pictures and some of us were the daughters of fishermen who had been around the sea all our lives Perhaps we had lost a brother or father to the sea or a fiance or perhaps someone we loved had jumped into the water one unhappy morning and simply swum away and now it was time for us too to move onAnother section I loved is from the first chapter about where the women came from Some of us on the boat were from Kyoto and were delicate and fair and had lived our The Bookshop on the Shore entire lives in darkened rooms at the back of the house Some of us were from Nara and prayed to our ancestors three times a day and swore we could still hear the temple bells ringing Some of us were from Hiroshima which would laterxplode and were lucky to be on the boat at all though of course we did not then know itAfter the sea voyage the stories progress to how the husbands treated their wives and the children that followed and the hard work they Dance Real Slow endured And US history being what it is weventually arrive at the bombing of Pearl Harbor but I don t think that name was The Art of Memoir ever mentioned and the last 50 pages of the book show their shock at suddenly being labeled traitors and the fear mongering that persisted and by thend the Japanese have disappeared from the town I thought it was a nice touch that in her acknowledgments Otsuka admits having reappropriated some lines of dialogue from Donald Rumsfeld in 2001 and inserted them as the mayor in 1941 Same principles different warI hope I haven t made the book sound gloomy I actually found
inspiring and full of beauty and hope Would I have the courage to sail off to a foreign land and a strange husband at such a young age I doubt it Update December 2013I reread this for book club and was still amazed at how beautiful the writing is Each sentence is its own little story and it s so rich and visual that I was utterly absorbed in the prose I highly recommend this and I m xcited to look up other books by OtsukaFirst read March 2012Second read December 2013 It truly boggles the mind all of the attention this book has gotten The premise is very simple told in the first person plural the stories of the women who were brought over *From Japan Before WW2 Generally *Japan before WW2 generally miserable lives they had not anticipated is related There is no story in this book however as it is veryone s story So we get very variation of where they had come from very variation of sex for the first time with their husbands childbirth work raising children interacting with Americans tc it is a sad life and a hard one for almost veryone involved with only moments of joy and happiness smothered by work and misery and mistreatmentThe book is certainly beautifully written There is a lyricism that is touching some phrasing of ideas that is striking some chuckle worthy ignorance about white people that mirrors the ignorance of white people about Japanese and so on There is also a very striking shift at the PostgreSQL Server Programming - Second Edition end that gives the arc some meaning But truly there is no actual story here There are no characters there is no personality other than the author s as seen in her lyricism this is no novel It is a passagexcerpted from a history book titled the struggles of Japanese women in the new world and puffed up with fancy prose This is not a criticism of what it does because it seems to me thatit inspiring and full of beauty and hope Would I have
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT INTENDS TO BE GIVENis Integrity Restored: Helping Catholic Families Win the Battle Against Pornography exactly what it intends to be given acknowledgement pageSo if you want this prettified history this book is perfect If you wanted a novel that attempts to do than catalog with a poetic touch you re out of luck completely All of us are readers Some of us made the journey to the library by walking by bicycling by bus and others clicked a button on a screen Several of us paid good money for the book hoping praying that it wouldn t be a disappointment Most could afford it but some could not and what a tragedy that would be Some of us heard good things others picked it up on a whim Pretty cover ran through some of our heads In Canada Austria Japan Kyoto Oakland the very places mentioned in the book Some of us loved the book others liked it wellnough Several couldn t stand the style and may not The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac, even have finished reading it Others finished it simply for the satisfaction of leaving a negative review but they are certainly thexceptio. Picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their xperiences in childbirth and then as mothers raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of D American citizens about to nter Stanford as their high school valedictorian Despite being briefly mentioned I was most moved by this sectionJulie Otsuka has arned an Asian American Literature Prize for her writing Buddha in the Attic is a small volume but touches on a key 20th century historical vent I wished that Otsuka would have gone in depth in telling the stories of women who trekked across an ocean to meet husbands who they might not be compatible with Using telling language Otsuka creates a poignant prose I would be interested in reading her other novel and I rate the novella Buddha in the Attic a solid 375 stars In this slim delicate lyrical novel Julie Otsuka unflinchingly and confidently does something that really is not supposed to work for Western readers those bred in the culture of stark individualism and raised in a society where it s traditional to The Road From Home: The Story Of An Armenian Girl expect a bright spark of individuality shining through the grey masses After all it s the plight of one the uest of one the triumph of one that appeals to us naturally as individual and personal portrayals appeal to our innate sense of self make us connect in a way most of us do not when faced with a collective reflected uite well invery story Exile and Pilgrim every filmvery charity poster that brings out the individual behind the masses appeals to the personal spark inside of usBut to uote Terry Pratchett of course I would Personal s not the same as important People just think it isIn The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka breaks the convention of bringing a personal individual story to the forefront Instead she chooses to focus on the collective set of xperiences the collective story of a mass the voices of many On the boat we were mostly virgins We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall Some of us had nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves Come Japanese That night our new husbands took us uickly They took us calmly They took us gently but firmly and without saying a word They assumed we were the virgins the matchmakers have promised them we were and they took us with xuisite care Now let me know if it hurts They took us flat on our backs on the bare floor of the Minute Motel They took us downtown in second rate rooms at the Kumamoto Inn They took us in the best hotels in San Francisco that a yellow man could set foot in at the time First NightThere is no traditional story no traditional plot no individual well defined and developed characters Instead there are only we the intertwined voices of many Japanese picture brides spanning the time between coming to America the land of promise in the 1920s until the relocation to the internment camps in the 1940s Because if our husbands had told us the truth in their letters they were not silk traders they were fruit pickers they did not live in large many roomed houses they lived in tents and in barns and out of doors in the fields beneath the sun and the stars we never would have come to America to do the work that no self respecting American would do Whenever we left J town and wandered through the broad clean streets of their cities we tried not to draw attention to ourselves We dressed like they did We walked like they did We made sure not to travel in large groups We made ourselves small for them If you stay in your place they ll leave you alone and did our best not to offend Still they gave us a hard time Whites No individual figures or stories Hannah Montana: The Movie ever appear instead there are bits and pieces ofveryone s fates weaving together in the tapestry of a common shared xperience ncompassing many strands of uniue potentialities that can create a true picture only when woven together the way single pencil strokes come together to create a breathtaking sketch Devoured in its ntirety in a single sitting it reads almost like a poem in prose crisp and deceptive in its simplicity full of imagery that will stay to you for a while Etsuko was given the name Esther by her teacher Mr Slater on her first day of school It s his mother s name she xplained To which we replied So is yours The ChildrenThis book is not for you if you need a defined character to identify with when reading a story It is not for you if you looking for a clear traditional plot It is not for you if you need closure for the stories
read But if you are looking for the understated almost poetics in its lyricism narrative that does its to unite the strands of individual xperiences most of the time only frustratingly hinted at into a canvas meant to represent the xperiences of a greater whole then you may have found a perfect little volume for you in this sparse but touching little novel A startled cat dove under a bed in one of our houses as looters began to break down the front door Curtains ripped Glass shattered Wedding dishes smashed to the floor And we knew it would only be a matter of time until all traces of us were gone Traitors And after a while we notice ourselves speaking of them and in the past tense Some days we forget they were ver with us although late at night they often surface unexpectedly in our dreams And in the morning when we wake try as might to hang on to them they do not linger long in our dreams All we know is that the Japanese are out there somewhere in one place or another and we shall probably not meet them again in this world A Disappearance This short 100 page read felt to me like riding in a human river and feeling magically a part of it Otsuka njoins the reader to flow with the voices of Japanese women from their sea passage to San Francisco as mail order brides in the 20s to the time of internment in camps during World War 2 Though the women voice many different responses to the challenges they faced they go through similar stages in the transformation of their hopes and dreams to the new realities of their life in America Otsuka s placing of voice Some of us will like the book Some of us won t Some of us will find the constant plural first person narrative terribly annoying wondering if any group of people can be so cohesive and one that they can always speak in unison no matter the topic Some of us can t wait to discuss it with our friends on Saturday Some of us will cancel their RSVP to this week s book cl. Attic traces the picture brides’ xtraordinary lives from their arduous journey by boat where they xchange photographs of their husbands imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work. ,you read But if you are looking for the understated almost poetics in its lyricism narrative that does its