troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
“It very hard to wake you up. I try many time. You worry old man; no good will come of it.” He seemed a little
vexed at them for the first time since Hanako had met him.
make clear and comprehensible
“They mean because they hungry,” Jiichan
move or cause to move energetically or busily
Hanako spotted a
bustling outside market, right next to a single broken concrete wall and a big pile of rubble.
approach and speak to someone aggressively or insistently
Three men suddenly
accosted them, asking loudly all at once if they wanted to sell their rations for yen.
the basic unit of money in Japan
After they’d quickly walked a ways, Jiichan explained, “We don’t sell for
Yen is paper. You cannot eat paper.”
away from the correct or expected course
He was babbling, like he was trying to figure out what had gone
with obstinate determination
And there was Akira,
doggedly eating the rest of his tan, fake mochigashi. “I won’t waste it,” he said.
relating to or resulting from the action of a downpour
But she was sure she understood now, watching the
torrential rain that was barely visible in the darkness. Here, in the most unlikely place, in the pouring rain in the middle of the night, she understood her teacher.
bend or twist out of shape
Twenty-five years of working the fields as Baachan’s back
warped and she grew old.
join together by heating
She hadn’t noticed before, but two of his fingers looked like they were sort of
a sudden numbing dread
There was a
pall in the house because Akira had hardly moved all day, except to wobble his head and groan softly.
poor enough to need help from others
It made her feel like being here in this bombed-out,
impoverished nation was the best experience she would ever have in her life and like her hungry stomach was just an adventure.
worn by exposure to the elements
Baachan disappeared and reappeared with a
required by rule
“This is where we are, and we just have to accept that. There is nothing for you to do all day, and anyway, Baachan says there is a rumor that the Americans will be insisting on
compulsory school at least until after ninth grade.”
turn away from; give up
I think your father felt that since we had nothing, and since Roosevelt took us prisoners of war, since our friends were beaten in camp, and other reasons, he wanted to
renounce America when the government pressed him about it.
someone who pays rent to use property owned by someone else
You know, it’s similar to the way it is in the United States for
tenant farmers.The landowners make the money, the
tenants struggle to feed their families.
old and twisted and covered in lines
“You feel my back.” Hanako wasn’t sure why Baachan wanted this, but she swept her palm up and down her grandmother’s curved back. Her spine felt like
advocating the state ownership of industry
And then when we come back to Japan, country have powerful people who want military state and powerful people who want
a sudden and decisive change of government by force
Even though my country may have many hard time, these year with
coup and assassinate is very unusually bad time for my country.
“Oh! Hana-chan, you don’t mean what you ask!” Baachan looked quite taken
a bag carried by a strap on your back or shoulder
He held up his
rucksack triumphantly. “I’ve got some things!”
thin and tattered with age
But if you looked closely, you could see even the colorful clothes were old and
a manual calculator with counters on rods or in grooves
But when everybody took
abacuses out of their desks, Hanako gaped.
Abacuses? She had seen one once before but had no idea how they worked.
relating to a system where vassals are protected by lords
The sensei talked about the samurai and the
feudal period in Japan, but she didn’t use the word “samurai.” She used the word bushi, a word Hanako had never heard.
Japanese warrior who was a member of the feudal aristocracy
So it took her ten minutes just to understand that the teacher was actually talking about
samurai...or that maybe
samurai were a type of bushi...or vice versa.
put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
Some wore plain boku zukin; others’ were quite colorful. There was a tall girl wearing a bright blue one with many white and yellow flowers.
“Your boku zukin is pretty,” Hanako
ventured in Japanese.
an epigrammatic Japanese verse form of three short lines
The bell rang, and they all went in to write
haiku—special poetry—and Hanako decided to write about eyes, because that just seemed like a good idea. It seemed original—everybody else was probably writing about nature, like most kids had done when they wrote
haiku in the camp school.
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
tragedy is something really horribly awful.”
Baachan nodded. “Yes, that exactly what I mean. If weed and insect win, would be
tragedy. We would starve, so would others. So I must not take break. So deshō.”
quieted and brought under control
Akira got slowly better, but he was never himself again. Truly never. He had become very
subdued and fussy about how hungry he always was.
problem solving that involves numbers or quantities
The bottom beads, called the “earthly beads,” were worth one, and the top beads, called the “heavenly beads,” were worth five. The beam dividing them was called a “
reckoning bar,” and the only beads you counted were the beads touching the bar.
serving to fill out, enhance, or supply what is lacking
Next on the soroban, she’d learned about the
complementary numbers up to five: (3, 2) and (4,1). She’d gotten pretty fast at addition problems using the
complementary numbers, but her fingers still didn’t fly like the fingers of the other kids.
repel or turn away
She knew she was safe because pine trees were scattered here and there, and they
warded off negative energy.
move or cause to move in a winding or curving course
Then one day, after
meandering home from school, the house was completely empty—Mama and Akira weren’t there like they usually were.
prepare oneself for action or a confrontation
girded herself and walked into the kitchen.
as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise
She looked too
flabbergasted that the rice was gone.