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Paperback Picture Bride: A Novel by Yoshiko Uchida Book

ISBN: 0295976160

ISBN13: 9780295976167

Picture Bride: A Novel by Yoshiko Uchida

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Carrying a photograph of the man she is to marry but has yet to meet, young Hana Omiya arrives in San Francisco, California, in 1917, one of several hundred Japanese "picture brides" whose arranged marriages brought them to America in the early 1900s. Her story is intertwined with others: her husband, Taro Takeda, an Oakland shopkeeper; Kiku and her husband Henry, who reject demeaning city work to become farmers; Dr. Kaneda, a respected community...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Picture Bride

"Picture Bride" is an unforgotten novel. This was a novel that I loved. The story was about a Japanese woman, Hana who came to the United States to married a man she had never met before. The story was happened from 1918 to 1943. The author, Uchda san, successfully combined the story with a very strong history background. He allowed the readers be able to "learn" the real life of Japanese-American particularly before and during the WWII. At the same time, he unveiled the "conflicts" between the second generations and with their immigrated parents in the United States. However, there is one thing I would like to point out. In the book, the author sometimes utilized the Japanese romanization style instead the English translation. For instance, he used "Oji san" instead of "uncle." If the reader has no knowledge of Japanese, I am afraid that they will lose their interests as the story was continuing.

A haunting, quietly heartwrenching story

"Picture Bride" is an unforgettable novel. In her deceptively simple style, Yoshiko Uchida draws the reader into the Japanese-American world and brings it to life. Unlike the cold, factual feel of a textbook, Uchida uses a character (Hana Omiya) who is easily identified with to portray early 20th century America as seen and felt from the Japanese perspective. Hana is a woman with a strong spirit who seems to have been born in the wrong world, and you find yourself both pitying her circumstances and admiring her strength, which lasts to the end. This was a novel I thoroughly loved.

Strength of character in the face of tremendous struggle

Picture Bride begins with Hana coming to America to escape the dead-end future her sisters experienced in arranged marriages to men they did not know in pre-WWII Japan. Her hopes rest on marriage to a young, successful businessman to whom she has never spoken. She finds instead a non-communicative middle-aged man who misrepresented his success and person in his letters, an unforgiving man who sees her as his property on their wedding night. The novel shows Hana's growth as she learns how to do what is best for the both of them while having to work around her husband's male ego and low self-esteem. She cannot merely take over the failing business; she must make her husband think it is his idea. The pathos of bigotry pervades the entire work: They are tolerated in their new neighborhood only after a "nocturnal visit" from individuals who are "looking out for the welfare of the community" because a Japanese family has moved in. Add the estrangement of a Nessei daughter who knows little Japanese and fears failure to assimilate from an Issei mother who speaks very little English and struggles to maintain her Japanese roots. Violence and intolerance heighten; the shell of humanity on the Pacific Coast disintegrates with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Throughout, the women in Uchida's novel are models of feminine strength in a male world, always emerging from struggle greater than they entered it. Great for Freshman English to U.S. History students and everyone else as well. I couldn't put it down as it plucked at my heart. A must-read for all Americans who don't want to repeat or continue the pattern of bigotry in the U.S. and for all descendants of Asian immigrants.

A Beautiful, Moving Story of the Human Condition

In _The Picture Bride_, Yoshiko Uchida masterfully tells the story of Hana, a Japanese immigrant, who comes to America to marry a man she has never met. Uchida uses Hana's perspective in an extremely effective manner. She brings the horror of prejudice to vivid life for her readers. Hana allows her readers to witness a chapter in American history which the textbooks sorely neglect: the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two. Hana is not merely a storyteller, she is the voice for a generation, and her tale i9s beautifully told by Uchida. Hana Takeda and her family allow the reader inside a world that has been "hidden" for decades. Reading about the struggles of the Takedas, with prejudice, imprisonment, and their daughter, Mary, the reader experiences a sense of the universality of Uchida's novel. Ultimately, Uchida tells a story not only of the plight of Japanese immigrants, but of all human beings. Her characters breathe with life, and Uchida uses them to tell a remarkable story. _The Picture Bride_ is an incredible journey through the human condition, and an unforgettable, electrifying story.

An amazing look at US history and Japanese-American culture

Picture bride, an excellent novel, boasts a wonderful cast of characters. As a story about Japanese-immigrant life in America during the 1930's and 1940's, Picture Bride tells a tale that the average American never hears. Best of all, after reading Picture Bride, a person understands current Japanese-American culture and its roots. The Japanese immigrants' fortitude and strength in Picture Bride amaze the reader. Hana a young Japanese woman, comes to America expecting to marry a young, prospering merchant. Instead she finds Taro, a kind older man with a low-class shop. Despite her disappointment, Hana accepts Taro and makes a relatively successful life with him, a testament to her inner strength. Taro himself endured changes in fortune upon arriving in America. He had to work as a houseboy but saved money and later started his own shop. all immigrants in the novel face the added trial of discrimination. Hana and Taro almost lose their home because of it. Reverend Okada, the Doctor, and Kenji Nishima give help to and support to others in the Japanese community while accepting the same hardships. The hard-working, accepting personalities of the characters make Picture Bride an intriguing novel. The story of the immigrants' new, American lives greatly interests the reader because many readers first learn about Japanese immigrant life by reading Picture Bride. Details of immigrant life, from funny anecdotes about a confused Japanese student and a bathtub to descriptions of Hana making breakfast tea, reside in the pages of the novel. Picture Bride also addresses the issues of discrimination and the interment of Japanese-Americans during WW2. After reading Picture Bride, the reader knows more about the Japanese-immigrant experience. Picture Bride gives the reader a better understanding of Japanese-American culture, also. The Japanese who came to America, like Hana and Taro, worked hard to fit into American society, but they still held onto their culture. Hana and Taro wanted their daughter Mary to lucubrate so she could earn her M.D. and earn respect from the San Francisco natives. Kiku, Hana's friend, helped Hana fit in when Hana first arrived by dressing her in western-style clothing. Henry Toda even changed his name to ease his assimilation. Japanese immigrants, from the farmers like Henry Toda to the houseboys and shop owners like Taro, worked hard to gain accept- ance into American society and make new lives for themselves. Japanese-Americans today have continued to be hard-working citizens. The Japanese immigrants retained their culture, too. Hana and Taro still ate pickled radish, rice, tea, and other Japanese foods. Hana kept her kimono and obi to wear on special celebrations like New Year, and Taro and Hana spoke Japanese with their friends and with each other. In present-day society, vestiges of Japanese culute, in food, language, and special traditions, still exist in
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