So Far from the Bamboo Grove

by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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In "So Far From the Bamboo Grove", how do they survive the train ride from Nanam, and how does their brother survive the Koreans?

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Yoko, Ko, and Mrs. Kawashima, who have managed to be taken aboard a hospital train through the intercession of Corporal Matsumura, help with the sick people being transported in their boxcar.  They refrain from eating because they do not have enought to give to everyone, and they share what little water they have.  When Korean Communist soldiers storm the train looking for them, grateful medics and nurses disguise them as patients, smearing Yoko with blood, making Ko lie with the placenta of a woman who has just given birth, and telling the soldiers Mrs. Kawashima has smallpox.  The train is bombed 45 miles from Seoul, at which point Yoko, Ko, and their mother leave the train to travel the rest of the way on foot (Chapter 2).

Hideyo is working at the munitions factory when the Korean Communist soldiers arrive.  He hides in a big empty box, covering himself with the blood of a friend who has been killed so the soldiers will think he is dead too.  When the soldiers leave, planning to blow up the building, Hideyo and three other survivors sneak out before the explosion and return to their homes.  The boys find that their families have either fled or been killed.  Gathering what few provisions they can find, they camoflage themselves in Korean clothing borrowed from neighbors who have also been murdered, and set off for Seoul (Chapter 4).

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