The grave on the wall / Brandon Shimoda
Book | City Lights Books | 2019

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208 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Born on an island off the cost of Hiroshima around 1908, Midori Shimoda died in North Carolina in 1996, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for two decades. A photographer, he was incarcerated in a Department of Justice prison during WWII under suspicion of being a spy for Japan. From his birth to contract laborer/picture-bride parents to his immigration and prewar life in Seattle's Nihonmachi, to wartime incarceration and postwar resettlement in New York City, his is a story of a man and a family vying for the American dream earnestly, but not without some bitterness. Poet Brandon Shimoda has crafted a lyrical-collage portrait of a grandfather he barely knew, and a moving meditation on memory and forgetting. The book begins with Midori's first memory (washing the feet of his own grandfather's corpse) and ends with the author's last memory of him. In between are vignettes of camellia blossoms, picture brides, suicidal monks, ancestral fires, great-grandmothers, bathhouses, atomic bomb survivors, paintings, photographs, burial mounds, golden pavilions, and dementia. In a series of pilgrimages he makes, from his own home in the Arizona desert to the family's ancestral village in Japan, to a Montana museum of WWII detention where he discovers a previously unknown photographic portrait of his grandfather, Shimoda records the search to find his grandfather--and therefore himself"-- Provided by publisher.
The period of summoning relatives -- Faces -- The night of the day my grandfather died -- Death Valley -- The house that no longer exists -- The camphor tree -- The woman in the well -- Great grandmothers -- People of the first year -- The first Japanese to be photographed -- The characters -- Daimonji -- Dreams -- Nagasaki -- The bathhouse -- Domanju -- Miyajima -- Shirakami -- August 6, 2011 -- Tohoku -- Margaret Ichino -- Monument Valley -- Department of Justice (letter from Dan B. Shields to Edward J. Ennis) -- Fort Missoula -- Dreams -- New York City -- African burial ground -- Thunder Hill -- The inland sea -- The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
Includes bibliographical references.
Chronological Term
Other Form:
Online version: Shimoda, Brandon. Grave on the wall. San Francisco : City Lights Books, [2019] 9780872867932 (DLC) 2019020566
9780872867901 (alkaline paper ; paperback)
0872867900 (alkaline paper ; paperback)
9780872867932 (e-book)
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