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Japanese people who settled on the West Coast did experience prejudice on the part of white people. Federal laws were passed discriminating against Japanese Americans, and Japanese Americans throughout the Pacific Coast region were rounded up and sent to concentration camps shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in As a Japanese American herself, Uchida is an authority on the matter.
Just like Hana and Taro in the story, Uchida and her family spent several years at a miserable camp, ironically called Topaz, the Jewel in the Desert, in Utah. It is with an unpleasant start that people in the early s realize that such things did indeed happen on U.
Poor Hana, the naive Japanese girl who in takes the boat to California to marry her picture groom—she has only seen a photograph of him—does not know what she is in for.
At first her disappointment centers on her husband-to-be, who looks older than his thirty-one years and is already balding and whose drab shop in a run-down part of the city does not resemble in the slightest the smart store Hana had imagined he would own.
Hana is a resourceful woman, however, and she soon adapts to her husband and to their limited financial resources. Harder to adapt to, however, is the resentment they as Japanese people face from the white residents, since they can do little to change it other than making sure that their lawn is always neatly cut and no soy barrels that might betray Japanese occupancy litter their yard.
Unfortunately for Hana, she has arrived and will live for the next quarter of a century through what might be called the high tide of prejudice on the part of the majority whites against anyone who happened to be Japanese or of Japanese descent.
Examples from the period are not difficult to find. Under the Alien Laws of and passed in California, people who were ineligible to become U.
This is why in the novel Taro is not permitted to own his store; eventually he gets around the problem by putting it in the name of his daughter, who, having been born in the United States, is automatically according to the Fourteenth Amendment a U.
The Alien Laws were aimed principally at Japanese farmers, since white farmers feared that they would not be able to compete economically with the Japanese, who employed more efficient agricultural techniques. In the novel, when Taro visits a Japanese-American farming community, he notes how hard the farmers work, and he comments that this enables them to sell their produce for less than their white counterparts.
Kaneda explains that this accounts for the prejudice the Japanese face: In Picture Bride, the injustice of laws such as these is conveyed powerfully through the reactions of the innocent Hana, who finds it hard to believe that such unfairness can exist in the United States.
This is just one of the many unpleasant surprises that have awaited the innocent Hana in her new country from the very beginning. For example, when her new friend Kiku Toda tells her that her husband Henry works at the bank, Hana naively assumes that Henry must be a banker or at least a teller or clerk.
She is surprised to learn that he is in fact a janitor; the reader guesses what Hana does not yet know: Later, Henry is fired by the bank and given no reason for his dismissal; the reason of course is clear to readers.
As the story unfolds, the hurtful slights and more serious discrimination against Japanese Americans accumulate in a steady stream.
Taro speaks of how when he first came to the United States, he was humiliated at school because of his poor English skills. He worked hard to master English, a skill which Hana never seems to acquire.
When Taro tries to rent a house he is refused many times by white landlords who offer the flimsiest of excuses to justify shutting him out.
Then there is the delegation of neighborhood whites who report a complaint about the presence of Japanese on the block; they do not have the courage to admit that they are the ones who are complaining, and when asked they can point to nothing that Taro and Hana have actually done to offend anyone.
This is racism pure and simple, based not on what a person does but what he or she is. There may not have been an outright ban on Asians using the pool, but there was a de facto segregation that was understood by The entire section is 2, words.Yoshiko Uchida is the foremost Japanese American woman writer of our time.
Picture Bride is a tender, painful, exquisitely written novel. A very serious and important book/5(13). Nov 21, · Picture bride yoshiko uchida essay writing. Posted on November 21st, by. The end of suburbia essay writer essayists on the essay of studies ananda coomaraswamy essays online, blue train john coltrane analysis essay varshik utsav essay help apa research paper on depression estella miss havisham argumentative essay.
As a historical novel, Picture Bride, by Yoshiko Uchida () alludes to Japanese immigration into the U.S.
via arranged marriages (miai kekkon) and the Japanese internment of In the novel Picture Bride, Uchida’s protagonist, Hana, struggles throughout the second half of this story in her relationship with her daughter, .
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