Monday, April 12, 2010

So Far From the Bamboo Grove

So Far From the Bamboo Grove was another book about the war that this time was told from the Japanese perspective. This book was much more gruesome. While this book had scenes of despair and tragic violence, The Year of Impossible Goodbyes seemed to focus more on the desperation and the loneliness that the war seemed to cause. I found myself cringing at certain scenes and I found it hard to stomach. It was really engaging and it kept my attention the whole time and I really liked how the characters were written. I didn't like how they never told you what happened to the father until I looked in the back of the book at some sort of index and saw that the father did eventually return.
In terms of teaching this book, I think that this novel would be a lot harder than The Year of Impossible Goodbyes. I would still feel comfortable teaching it, because the violence is just an aspect of war, but I would want to tread carefully, especially with the scenes of rape. I know that this book is often taught in 5th grade and I wish I could look back and see what I knew or what I thought about the topics that this book presents. Aside from the hard topics, it would be really interesting to compare the Japanese and the Korean perspective. Whichever book you read first you kind of just assume that their enemies are your enemies and that they were the ones in the wrong. But then you read a different perspective and you're not sure about your previous notions anymore. That would be an interesting discussion.
I liked this book a little bit more than The Year of Impossible Goodbyes because I think it was a quicker read in that it kept me a little bit more engaged. Both were well written and inspiring but this one just managed to grab me a little more.

1 comment:

  1. This book is not worth reading because it was made for international political purposes, not for education. Most of the facts are distorted in this book:

    There were no North-Korean soldiers in 1945 (they existed after 3 years), and the location of where the author claims to have been when she was young did not have the right condition for bamboo trees to grow back then (Nanam). She also claims to have seen and heard bombs explode due to US air-force planes, but B-29s did not have fuel tanks large enough to fly all the way to Korea (nor were there ANY records of bombing in Korea at that time). Also, the United States ORDERED the Japanese soldiers occupying in Korea to be left ARMED until every Japanese civilians were escorted back to their homeland. Thus if Japanese civilians were REALLY raped, chances are, they were raped by their own people.

    So what do we have left from this novel? Just a fictional book that distorts history in a very ironic way (Considering the fact that the Japanese soldiers RAPED and MURDERED Korean women at wartime for pleasure. They actually had the nerves to call these women 'Comfort Girls'). The book title should be renamed as "So Far from History and the Truth"

    It's like Hitler claiming that he was tortured by the Jews in the Holocaust. Sounds like a nice book for young kids and adults eh?