A Jar of Dreams Yoshiko Uchida

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The novel A Jar of Dreams, by Yoshiko Uchida, is a multicultural book that is based on a Japanese and American culture. The setting of this book is set in California during the Depression, the time period where there were many prejudice against Japanese people. Rinko Tsujimura is an eleven year old girl. Since she is Japanese American, she is usually left out and made feel different by her classmates. Therefore, Rinko desperately tries to hide her Japanese culture by staying invisible, quiet, and ashamed. The story opens with Rinko telling us the story of her and her family’s life changing summer thanks to one small lady, her Aunt Waka. Aunt Waka is Rinko’s mother’s sister and is visiting California for the first time. Aunt Waka is very different, in the sense that she openly displays her Japanese culture. Aunt Waka comes just in time to help Rinko’s mother open up a new laundry business. The three women are excited and work very hard to make the business a success. However, Wilbur Starr, a racist neighbor, does many cruel things, such as purposeful killing of the family dog or stealing clothes from their business, to threaten the Tsujimura family to stop their business and get lost. Rinko and her family, although angered and saddened, maintain their composure and try to ignore the attacks by hoping for a better future. Aunt Waka sees how much the family is suffering and becomes as the voice of change. She explains that being from a different cultural background does not mean that they are better or worse than other cultural backgrounds. She helps them realize that they need to stand up for themselves by protecting their dreams. In the end, Rinko’s father and family friend confronts Wilbur Starr and firmly tells him to stop any acts of cruelty or injustice. In addition, Rinko and her older brother continue to strive to become what they want to be in the future, her father opens up a garage shop like he has always dreamed, and her mother continues to have their...
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