“Tears of Autumn” Yoshiko Uchida
About the Author • Wrote 27 picture books, including Picture Bride, Journey to Topaz, and Desert Exile. • Also writes about Japanese-American history and Japanese folklore. • Experienced discrimination first hand during WWII. • She spent a year in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in Utah, and was the first woman to write about the experience there. • “I hope to give young Asian Americans a sense of their past and to reinforce their self-esteem and self-knowledge.”
Purpose for Reading • Build vocabulary. • Form conclusions and inferences from text. • Cite evidence from text to support conclusions. • To respond to a short story through writing and speaking.
Vocabulary • Turbulent (adj.) The author came to America on a ship, in a “turbulent November sea.” • – wild • Affluence(n.)“A wife of his would not go cold or hungry. … picturing this merchant in varying degrees of success and affluence.” • – wealth or abundance • Degrading (adj.) • – insulting; dishonorable
A young Japanese woman chooses to accept a pre-arranged marriage that awaits her in America. “Tears of Autumn” reveals a lot about attitudes and lifestyles of the day as it tells the story of Hana’s voyage to and arrival in San Francisco. It describes her feelings of excitement and fear about life in a strange land.