Monday, March 4, 2013

B = Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Picture Brides and Internment Camps...

The Buddha in the Attic brings a unique approach to Japanese picture brides and the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Personally, I'm not a fan of Otsuka's writing style over the course of an entire book (see my review) , but did find it effective for what she wanted to accomplish.

Otsuka comes by her interest in internment camps naturally as she had family members who were transported to one in Topaz, Utah. Through an internet search I found this kinda tedious news report giving a brief history of the internment in Topaz. What grabbed my attention was how benign the scenery looks. It's hard to believe anything so terrible happened there!

I also stumbled across a brief documentary about the internment of the Japanese. It is not long and contains some interesting information. What a sad time in our history as a nation!

As I listened about the picture brides, I couldn't help chuckling when the brides and their prospective husbands lied to each other about their appearances. A friend has been regaling me with stories about the lies guys tell online, the out-of-date pictures, etc. Wonder what those picture brides could have come up with had they been online?! 

If anyone has recommendations for books about either Japanese picture brides or the Japanese internment, please leave a comment about the book. I want lots of recommendations! :-)


  1. Your review has piqued my interest in the story of the Japanese picture brides. You may be interested in Thanks for your excellent review.

  2. Thanks for your kind remarks and recommendation, Chelsea! I took a look at Amazon and it does look good. I see the same author has a memoir about her family's stay at the Topaz Internment Camp, the same one that Julie Otsuka's family was at. It has a 4 1/2 star rating at Amazon.