The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito

Sara is a teenager from England who is staying in Canada with relatives during the early part of World War II. She enjoys Canada and her relatives have a gardener named Mr. Ito who she becomes very good friends with. He introduces her to the art of bonsai, growing miniature trees.

Everything is fine until the bombing of Pearl Harbor then, as it happened in America, persons of Japanese ancestry become the target of police round-ups and forced evacuation. Her cousin, Mary, loses her fiancée in the Japanese attack on Hong Kong and the gardener becomes an instant target for hatred.

Although Sara does not feel that way about the gardener the rest of those around her do and eventually he disappears and his wife, other relatives and friends are shipped off to one of the Canadian places of internment.

Things get even more complex with Sara finds a dying Mr. Ito and has to deal with that as well as trying to keep two of the bonsai alive, the only two not destroyed by her Uncle.

The book is extremely well done and parallels in almost every detail what happened to the Japanese Americans after the outbreak of World War II. The story led me to do some research on how the people of Japanese ancestry were treated and the results of that are in my section on World War II, which is off my main Japanese fact page.

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