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The story is separated into three segments; each segment tells a story from the perspective of a different sibling. The protagonist, Naomi Nakane is a middle school teacher in her mid-thirties, one morning she receives a call telling her that her uncle, Isamu is dead.
As these atrocities were going on Naomi's mother had to move back to Japan to take care of her relatives.
Many other members of the family were sent to internment camps.
She feeds them, clothes them, and ensures their well-being under impossible circumstances.
Her commitment to them never falters, even when they neglect her.
With only Obasan, Naomi and her brother Stephen left, they decide to move to Slocan, a ghost town which was relatively safer than Alberta.
A while after they move Obasan's husband returns from the internment camps and joins them in Slocan.Oftentimes when reading fictional texts with similar themes, readers will find themselves encountering similar characters.In the realm of modern literature, elderly Asian women are often portrayed with many similarities; they are seen as protective, caring people who possess great wisdom.Stephen repeatedly treats Obasan with impatience and rudeness.Regardless, Obasan constantly puts the needs of others before her own.Going through the package brings back more memories from Naomi's childhood, her old house, the neighbor who molested her, her mother and other such painful remembrances.All the struggles faced by Naomi's family are documented in the papers and journals in Aunt Emily's package.As the two climb up to the attic, Naomi remembers her mother who left her family so abruptly many years ago.Thinking about her mother brings back memories of her childhood during the war.They have each suffered through troublesome pasts and as a result have become very wise.Obasan and Poh-Poh share many similarities but they also have their differences.