Haruko Harrison begins her story

I cannot imagine why you would want to listen to this, why anyone in the world now would take an interest in my story. What did you say your name was? Sachiko? Is that written with the character for "happiness"? You see, I have not forgotten my Japanese altogether, not forgotten that I am a Japanese.

I have never been able to talk about myself in this country. Other immigrants could. When I had my first baby — Clark — I shared a room at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital with seven other women. They were Irish, Italian, German, Polish and African-American, and all of them knew a thing or two about the others' nationality. They had some picture of it in their mind. But when they turned to me, instead of asking what Japanese life was like, they just shook their head and said, "Oh, it's all so strange to us," and "You are so different, how do you manage to live in America?"