So Far from the Bamboo Grove

by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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Student Question

Where does Hideyo aim to go in So Far From the Bamboo Grove?

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In So Far From the Bamboo Grove, Hideyo, like the rest of his family, wishes to leave North Korea and return to his ancestral home of Japan. Hideyo realizes the danger of the communist troops closing in and all of World War II drawing to a close. It is because of these factors that the entire family, not just Hideyo, are intent on leaving Korea, where their patriarch works as a Japanese diplomat.

Unfortunately, Hideyo is not able to follow through with his family's plans. His departure is interrupted as he is forced to work in a factory for the overwhelming majority of the week. Hideyo's family undergoes an enormous period of trial, unsure if they will ever see him again. However, he eventually is able to return to Japan by his own way and reunite with them.

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