Nisei Daughter by Monica Itoi Sone

Nisei Daughter

With charm, humor, and deep understanding, a Japanese-American woman tells how it was to grow up on Seattle's waterfront in the 1930s and to be subjected to "relocation" during World War II. Along with some 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry—77,000 of whom were U.S. citizens—she and her family were uprooted from their home and imprisoned in a camp. In this book, first published in 1952, she provides a unique personal account of these ...

Details Nisei Daughter

TitleNisei Daughter
Release DateOct 1st, 1979
PublisherUniversity of Washington Press
GenreNonfiction, History, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography Memoir, Biography

Reviews Nisei Daughter

  • Laura
    This is a fantastic account of what it was like to be a second-generation Japanese (Nisei) living in Seattle around WWII. The author tells us about her family life before the war, her experience with TB, and a visit to Japan to see extended family (and the historical context on why her extended family could not visit them in the US). Of special interest to those of us who live in Seattle is the local history - for example, I learned a lot about t...
  • K. Lincoln
    Monica Sone grew up in a hotel on Seattle's Skid Row just before World War II.And she didn't know she was Japanese until her mother told her at dinner one night while she was still in elementary school. That night she also learned she would have to attend "Nihon Gakko" (Japanese language school).We accompany Monica as she learns how to sit quietly, obey the strict school teachers, and experience the Japanese culture her Issei parents could provid...
  • Anne
    Kazuko was born here in Seattle, along with her 3 siblings, but her parents were both immigrants from Japan. (Issei is 1st genereation, Nisei is 2nd generation) They lived for a time in the hotel that her parents owned and operated, but were eventually able to move into an apartment and later a house. There was a lot of racial stigmatism and it only got worse in the late 30's. Then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Kazuko and her family were forced to m...
  • Nancy Loe
    What a gift for writing Monica Sone has - this book is quite my favorite of the genre. And if you've ever wondered what became of the vivid fellow patient "Kimi" in Betty MacDonald's book, The Plague and I, about being treated for TB in the 1930s, here is your answer for Monica is "Kimi." The injustice of being interned during WWII was so well written. It made me ashamed of my country all over again. This is the kind of book that makes me wish I ...
  • Ko Matsuo
    This is such an interesting book. It's a first hand account of a Japanese American woman who experienced the internment camps during World War II. Her account highlights the mixed reactions at the time - some extreme racism vs some very sympathetic folk. She paints a matter of fact picture of life in the internment camps. No complaining, no bitterness, no desire for revenge, despite the financial strain and discomfort. It highlights quite a diffe...
  • Kathryn
    What a warmly written account of Monica Itoi Stone's growing up in Seattle and her life as a Japanese-American. Sei means generation. Nisei means second generation. I just loved the first paragraph: The first five years of my life I lived in amoebic bliss, not knowing whether I was plant or animal, at the old Carrollton Hotel on the waterfront of Seattle. One day when I was a happy six-year-old, I made the shocking discovery that I had Japanese b...
  • Selena
    Re-reading for research purposes. I'm fairly certain that her brother Henry's friend Jack Okada is John Okada. Further research is needed.
  • Max
    It felt surface level and lacked depth. Not my favorite book about internment out of the ones I've read...
  • Tracy
    Charming memoir of the author's experience growing up as a second-generation Japanese woman in Seattle in the 1920s and 30s, including her family's time in an internment camp during WWII. So many facets to this story: her life as the child of immigrants, her affection for her loving and quirky family, and her struggle with her identity--she didn't feel Japanese, yet she also felt rejected by Americans. She recalls her time in the camps without bi...
  • Audrey
    I really really enjoyed this book. I dont know how Ive lived my life knowing so little about this part of history, but this was an excellent account. I absolutely loved learning about Monicas family and how they remained so loving and kind through such tremendous hardship. I didnt even realize for much of this that it was a true story of her life, but it was lovely. Beautiful people leaving in an ugly part of history. I really really enjoyed th...
  • Kristen
    This book, Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone, is an very interesting and historical, and has a unique writing style that makes it enjoyable to read. The book contained great historical facts about Kazuko and her family. Sone also did a terrific job when adding her own stories into this book. She wrote the book based on her own experiences as a child which tie in greatly with the overall story. The book contains intriguing events that makes me continu...
  • Austen to Zafón
    I had never heard of this book, but picked it up off a display table at my local used-book shop. Turns out it has often been used in Asian studies classes and it's easy to see why. Sone writes simply, but with great detail, beginning with realizing that she is Japanese at age 6 to coping with life in an internment camp during WWII. She personalizes the Nisei experience, making it accessible and engaging. In addition to learning about what life wa...
  • Laura
    Sone's book is really a collection of memoir essays. There are some that could be read independently from the rest, and when read together, they flow roughly as chapters chronologically. I expected this book to be centered around the Japanese internment, but that part only fills the final four chapters. The first eight chapters detail the author's life before WWII growing up as a second generation American of Japanese heritage in Seattle. The ess...
  • Friend of Pixie (F.O.P.)
    I read this memoir to my son in bits and pieces, between other books. It works well for that because each chapter is a different episode in her life and while she does get older throughout the book, it isn't necessary to remember every detail to keep reading. I was an adult before I'd even heard of the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent. It was not taught in school in my day (I graduated in 1983). It came as a shock. My son was s...
  • Catherine
    Im a sucker for internment camp memoirs this is a good one. Actually, very little of it takes place in the camp; Monica Sone (who grew up as Kazuko Itoi) describes her childhood in Seattle, the pull between traditional Japanese customs and American culture, along with the growing tensions leading toward World War II. She was in her early twenties when her family was sent to a temporary camp in Puyallup, Washington, eventually landing at Camp Min...
  • Julia
    I enjoyed this lovely memoir about growing up Japanese-American in Seattle before and during WWII. Being familiar with the Seattle area, I loved learning about the history of the neighborhoods and the thriving Japanese community before the war. The author was a teen during this time, so we hear about public school, the Japanese language school that all the children had to attend after school, local businesses, and food--the yummy food. The trip t...
  • Mario Flores
    This was an amazing read, and I could not put this book down during the entire summer. It was extremely gut-torturing at times, especially when I read about her times in the concentration camps with her family, yet it made me happy for Kazuko and her family when I read about her good times in Seattle. This book was a real eye-opener for me, as I was aware of the Japanese concentration camps here in Seattle, but I did not receive much education ab...
  • Karen K - Ohio
    My library is participating in the One Book, One Community program and as a library employee I was happy to read this book and to support this excellent program. The author lives in a neighboring city and I look forward to meeting her at one of the seventeen special events and book discussion sessions planned for the program. The first half of the book is a touching and humorous account of a young girl growing up in Seattle, raised by loving pare...
  • Cerealflakes
    Funny and interesting memoir about growing up an immigrant family in Seattle during the 1930s and 40s. The author's parents were Japanese immigrants, so the family had to go through the terrible Japanese Internment. The author went into a lot of detail about her family's experience.I learned about this book from a biography about Betty MacDonald. The two met when they were recovering from tuberculosis in a North Seattle sanatorium. Sone didn't ta...
  • Nancy
    I learned much from this book. I was astounded at the light-hearted perspective of the writer, a 2nd generation Japanese woman who grew up in Seattle pre-and during WWII. Its 1952 pub date pretty well explains her upbeat stance and coverage of the prejudices; I'm guessing that a critical, blaming accounting wouldn't have had a chance at that point in time. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating view of Seattle at that point in time. And from what I've r...
  • Emerson Rensink
    A great memoir by a second-generation Japanese immigrant ("Nisei") whose family was part of the West Coast's forced removal and internment of all people with any Japanese ancestry, including American citizens, during World War II. It's striking how similar sentiments are still today towards immigrants, even second-generation, e.g. the "Dreamers." This book is approachable, easy to read, and about as politically neutral as I think a book of this t...
  • Tiffany
    If you have read "The Plague and I" and thought that Kimi was the real hero of the book, this is the memoir of the real Kimi, whose name was changed by Betty MacDonald. There's some interesting history from Seattle's pre-WWII years and fascinating observations about being a child of immigrants. Of course given geography and history, most readers will know where things are headed (to Camp Harmony and then Camp Minidoka). All I can say is that the ...
  • Danice
    Well written book. Kazuko Monica Itoi Sone reflects on her experience growing up as an American born to two Japanese immigrants. This book follows her childhood through her young adulthood, filled with a memorable range of experiences. The charm found in how she reflects upon how she found harmony and embraces her identity as a Japanese-American.
  • Kendra Loera
    Very good history book. I would recommend for people who are interested in the Asian-American history.
  • Ariel Haustveit
    Required reading for history class. Interesting point of view of what happened specifically in Seattle before, during and affter the atack on Pearl Harbor from a Nisei.
  • Ashley
    Charming, easy read. Handles really difficult subjects with grace, love, and even humor. (That is both its strength and its weakness.)
  • Emily
    3 1/2 Stars
  • Chris Langer
    Read this one for class. What an awesome read. Monica Sone provides an excellent account of the complicated life faced by the Nisei Japanese-Americans before and during World War II.
  • SarahB
    This was an assigned college book almost 20 years ago and I've held onto it for that long. I remember loving it but it's time to minimize my bookshelves and let someone else read it.
  • Keith
    Great memoirs of second-generation daughter of a Japanese family in Calif. during WW II. Camp life, etc.