Rajz Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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By: Whoever wants it A Jar of Dreams By Yoshiko Uchida My book report will be about A Jar of Dreams by Yoshiko Uchida. I will discuss the main characters and their character and personality traits, the setting, the problem presented in the story, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the conclusion.

The main characters are Rinko Tsujimura, Joji Tsujimura, Aunt Waka, Mr. Tsujimura, and Mrs. Tsujimura. Rinko, the narrator, is eleven years old. She is skinny and sort with small eyes. She is also very brave and understanding. Joji, her younger brother, is 10 years old. He is short and plump and loves to eat and annoy people. Aunt Waka is an old woman with so much pride in her Japanese heritage. She is very brave and does not tolerate racial discrimination. She had come from Japan to visit Rinko's family for the summer. Mr. Tsujimura loves to repair just about anything from cars to washing machines.

Mrs. Tsujimura is a kind old woman who is very friendly and will talk to anyone.

The setting is in Berkeley, California where Rinko and her family live. It is during the Great Depression around the year 1935. The story mainly takes place in their one level house. The house consists of one bathroom, three bedrooms and a porch. The house is relatively small compared to the other houses that were nearby.

There are many small problems faced during the story but one of them was major. All of the problems major and minor were due to racial discrimination because the family was Japanese. Since it took place during the Great Depression all the people were facing financial hard times and they took out their anger on minorities such as Mexicans and Japanese people. Rinko's mother started a laundry cleaning service in her own basement and the white owner of another laundry shop, Wilbur Starr, stole all of the laundry that was placed outside to be taken to Mrs. Tsujimura's Laundromat.

Shortly after the stolen laundry incident, Wilbur Starr slashed all of Mr. Tsujimura's tires on his Ford Model T, which he purchased fourth hand for only thirty dollars and fixed up like new. This greatly angered the Tsujimura family but they remained patient. They had no way of proving to the Police that Mr. Starr had slashed the tires. This was very disappointing especially for Mr. Tsujimura.

Joji decided to keep is dog Maxwell outside to watch for any troublemakers during the night. That very night Maxwell stated barking and woke the family. The father took a baseball bat and headed for he door with the rest of the family following closely behind him. When he went outside he heard a shot and a car roar away. Then he saw Maxwell dead on the floor.

The next night at dinner Aunt Waka suggested that Mr. Tsujimura go and confront Mr. Wilbur Starr. Rinko and her mother disagreed because they thought it was too dangerous. Mr. Tsujimura agreed with Aunt Waka and he went to go talk to Wilbur Starr. They got in a long fight and Mr. Wilbur Starr backed down. Mora importantly, the Tsujimura family never again tolerated any kind of racial discrimination of any kind.

After the confrontation, Mr. Tsujimura decided to fulfill is life long dream to own a car repair shop in his very own garage. Mrs. Tsujimura's business also did very well and she gained many new customers. The family's peace was restored and everyone felt a lot better. The end of summer was approaching and it was nearing the time for Aunt Waka to return to Japan.

Aunt Waka boards her ship and returns to Japan. The family is sad to see he go but happy that she came because her summer visit had such a big effect on everyone in the family, especially Rinko. Rinko was no longer so ashamed of her Japanese heritage and was actually a little bit proud of it. I really enjoyed the reading the book. Actually I also purchased 2 other books from the same author because I enjoyed this one so much. I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys fictional stories.