a long shallow trench in the ground
The high mounds of snow in the corner of our yard had begun to melt, the water flowing gently into the
furrow of dark earth Grandfather had dug around the base of the tree like a moat.
proceed or issue forth, as from a source
Grandfather’s tree stood alone in the far corner of the yard, its dark green-needled branches
emanating harmoniously from the trunk, reaching out like a large umbrella.
exhibiting equivalence or correspondence among constituents
Grandfather’s tree stood alone in the far corner of the yard, its dark green-needled branches emanating
harmoniously from the trunk, reaching out like a large umbrella.
a relief from harm or discomfort
The warmth of the spring sun and the thawing of the icy snow brought no
respite from the oppressiveness that engulfed us.
weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
The warmth of the spring sun and the thawing of the icy snow brought no respite from the
oppressiveness that engulfed us.
the feeling of lively and cheerful joy
Grandfather, hoping the Korean people might experience the
exhilaration and beauty of spring again, had made sure my mother included the word chun, or spring, in the names of each of my brothers.
intending or showing kindness
My oldest brother’s name was Hanchun, meaning “Korean spring”; my second brother, Jaechun, was called “spring again”; my third brother, Hyunchun, the “wise spring”; and my youngest brother, Inchun, the “
with a certain degree of unwillingness
Reluctantly, she brought out a clean straw mat and unrolled it beneath the pine tree, placing the thick cushion in the center of the shade.
move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
The gentle rays of the April sun
flitting through the pine branches played upon his face like dancing fairies.
spread or diffuse through
The smell of the pine
permeated the atmosphere, and I breathed deeply.
rise and move, as in waves
With a few fluid strokes, his brush created an island of
billowy clouds hovering over the mountains.
act as executive officer
Presiding over rain and water, the dragon works to save the crops during times of drought and bring abundance and prosperity to the people.
the property of a more than adequate quantity or supply
Presiding over rain and water, the dragon works to save the crops during times of drought and bring
abundance and prosperity to the people.
save or relieve from an experience or action
Mother kept hoping that the war would end, and that at least Inchun and I would be
spared from attending Japanese school.
lean but strong
Later that morning, Captain Narita came walking through the gate. He paced about the yard, his sword hanging from his small
question or examine thoroughly and closely
His thick gold-rimmed glasses magnified his cold
an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder
The sun reflected off the handle of his sword, the rims of his glasses, and his gold and red
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
A smile played upon his lips as he examined us with apparent
not qualified by reservations
It was considered a serious offense even to look at the Imperial police; Koreans were expected to keep their heads bowed and obey orders
be located at the sides of something or somebody
Flanked by his two ever-present lieutenants, he strode toward the sock factory.
cut small bits or pare shavings from
As usual, she carried her bag from which the wooden knitting needles Grandfather had
whittled for her poked out.
something considered choice to eat
Haiwon loved the millet cakes and ate them as if they were the most delicious
with strained or eager attention
Mother saw me listening
intently, and shot a disapproving glance at Aunt Tiger.
At precisely eight o’clock, the loud clanging filled the air. How sad I was when Kisa rang that
The spools of thread spun
frenetically as the needles of the machines bobbed up and down.
coils of worsted yarn
It amazed me to see the
skeins of thread hanging in midair, suspended by wires strung across the ceiling.
a prescribed number
The girls raced against time to meet their
your usual mood
But he had a very pleasant broad forehead, which Mother said was a sign of a generous heart, and he had a handsome nose, a sign of an even
temperament, Mother said.
cause a thick or hard area of skin to form on
Her long thin fingers were dry and chapped, and full of
callused needle marks.
prepare for crops
We were not allowed to spend time
cultivating the garden anymore.
Once, when we did manage to have a tiny patch of flowers, Captain Narita’s police stepped through them as they grinned broadly. There was nothing we could do but watch as the
dainty flowers were crushed beneath their ugly boots.
having little elasticity
Each time I opened the carefully wrapped packets, the paper in which they were wrapped seemed more yellow and
a hand tool for grinding and mixing substances in a mortar
I can still remember years ago when Mother picked the wilted clusters of bright crimson azalea petals from our little garden. In a bowl, she gently ground the petals with a
pestle until they turned into a fragrant red paste.
proceed somewhere despite the risk of possible dangers
I had once told Aunt Tiger about my pretty pink nails, hoping that she and I could
venture out and plant a secret garden somewhere.
having a short and solid form or stature
She was very different from Mother, who was tall, slender, and elegant. Aunt Tiger was
stocky and round.
showing deep sadness
At night Aunt usually grew sad and
make or become dirty or spotty
Then she reached back to pull out the
tarnished pin that held her braided hair in a large twisted knot at the nape of her neck.
the back side of the neck
Then she reached back to pull out the tarnished pin that held her braided hair in a large twisted knot at the
nape of her neck.
raise in a relief
Though it looked like a cheap piece of metal, it was actually a beautifully crafted silver hairpin. When I looked closely, I could see a multitude of
embossed little roses and small birds flying.
take delight in
I held it in my palm, and
reveled in its cool smoothness.