So Far from the Bamboo Grove

by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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Topics for Discussion

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1. Ko said that Hideyo purposely failed the written test to join the armed forces. Do you think she was right? Why or why not?

2. Name several ways in which Yoko shows her gratitude to Ko.

3. What do you suppose drove Yoko to make friends with the stuttering man?

4. Why is Yoko so determined to do well in school?

5. How do Yoko and her family feel when they first arrive in Japan?

6. Often seeing so much violence and death desensitizes people. Do you think Yoko and Ko became desensitized? Why or why not?

7. Consider the plight of the Koreans who suffered for years under Japanese rule. Does Watkins make any attempt to portray Koreans as sympathetic?

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