Okei-san, A Girl's Journey, Japan to California, 1868-1871

Joan Barton Barsotti

Published by Barsotti Books
ISBN 10: 0981818846 / ISBN 13: 9780981818849
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Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Okei was 17 years old when she came to America in 1869 and only 19 when she died in 1871. I had stated repeatedly that I would never write a chapter book and I would never write a story with an unhappy ending! I am a picture book author and I enjoy writing cheerful stories for elementary school-age children. But, this is a local story, a true story about a girl who came to this country, probably not by choice, who worked very hard to do her best, and by so doing would honor her parents. She was a pioneer in every sense of the word. In 1868 Japan was embroiled in a civil war. Okei's hometown was destroyed, her family's whereabouts unknown. She came to California with a group of gardeners and samurai to start a tea and silk colony. The leader of the group, John Henry Schnell, was an honorary samurai. His wife Jou was the daughter of a samurai, and Okei was the nanny for the Schnell children. After two fairly successful years, the colony began to fail. Schnell went back to Japan promising to return with more supplies. He took his wife and two daughters, but left everyone else behind, including the nanny. This is my interpretation of Okei's story. I liked her very much. She was never able to overcome her homesickness, but she tried. She did not think she was courageous, but she was steadfast and loving. The neighbor, Louisa Veerkamp loved her like a daughter. Matsu, the samurai, cared enough to have a tombstone made for her. She was just "Okei" when she came to America, but when Henry Veerkamp was interviewed many years later, he referred to her as "Okei-san" with the honorific title. For many years people have come to visit the gravesite, often from Japan. The gravesite is small; sits by itself atop a small hill overlooking Gold Trail School, and beyond that, thousands of miles away, Japan. Okei was never forgotten. Could it be that she was somebody special, after all? I think so. Joan Barton Barsotti

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Okei-san, A Girl's Journey, Japan to ...
Publisher: Barsotti Books
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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Joan Barton Barsotti
Published by Barsotti Books
ISBN 10: 0981818846 ISBN 13: 9780981818849
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Book Description Barsotti Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0981818846I4N00

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Joan Barton Barsotti
Published by Barsotti Books (2010)
ISBN 10: 0981818846 ISBN 13: 9780981818849
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Book Description Barsotti Books, 2010. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Alpen Kelley (illustrator). Softcover in excellent condition (slight handling, tiny mark on the top page edges, otherwise unmarked). 137 pages. [15oz]. Bookseller Inventory # 067728

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