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Snow on Willow
A Nisei Memoir
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Snow on Willow
A Nisei Memoir

By Jean Oda Moy
2009, 217 pages, Hardback.

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Book Description from Back Cover

This insightful memoir tells the story of an American-born daughter of Japanese immigrants who comes of age in wartime Japan. She spends her early childhood exposed to two cultures in a pre-war Japanese settlement in West Seattle. When U.S. anti-Japanese sentiments escalate, she is called "Jap" and told "Go back home." Her parents, sensing the imminence of open hostilities between Japan and the United States, take her to their homeland. Here, too, she experiences discrimination from the Japanese who call her "Yankee girl" because she is not fluent in their language and because of anti-U.S. sentiment. As the Pacific War intensifies she and her family endure terrifying air raids, severe food shortages and numerous other civilian hardships. They live only 40 miles from Hiroshima and feel the massive jolt of the detonation when the Americans drop the atomic bomb.

A month after the devastation of Hiroshima, the author is stranded there on her way to Osaka when the rails are swept away during a deadly typhoon. I won't go back, I I'll go forward, she decides, and that becomes her motto throughout life. She walks for two days, carrying her luggage, and covers over fifty miles before reaching the next railroad station. Two years later she travels alone to Boston and works her way through college. Although she encounters hurdle after hurdle on both sides of the Pacific, this intrepid young woman refuses to allow anyone or anything to crush her spirit. Written with intelligence and humor. A great read!

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Background on Jean Oda Moy

Jean Oda Moy was born in Washington State and spent her early years in Seattle, moving to Japan shortly before the outbreak of World War II. After the war she returned to the United States to attend college. She combined studies in Japanese with a career as a clinical social worker. She practiced in Sunnyvale, California for many years, and also traveled frequently to Japan to teach and train counselors, social workers and psychologists.

She translated three books from Japanese into English, Tunhuang (1978), Chronicle of My Mother (1982) and Shirobamba: A Childhood in Old Japan (1991), all works by Yasushi Inouye, one of Japan's foremost writers of the 20th century. Her first translation, Tunhuang, received the Cultural Award from the Japan Society of Translators, the Japanese branch of UNESCO. All three translations are available in major libraries in the United States.

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Most recent revision September 25, 2009