Joy Kogawa

Joy Kogawa is the author of Obasan.
Joy Kogawa is the author of the books Obasan and Itsuka. (Raymond Lum)

In 1981, Kogawa wrote the first novel on Japanese-Canadian internment, Obasan, which is told through the eyes of a child as she watches bewildered at the persecution she and her family face in their own land. After being interned with her family during the Second World War, Kogawa became a poet before turning to fiction. Obasan won the First Novel Award and is widely considered to be one of the most important works of fiction to ever be published in Canada. The sequel to Obasan is Itsuka.

Her poetry collections include The Splintered Moon, A Choice of Dreams and Woman in the Woods. She is also the author of the memoir Gently to Nagasaki.

Books by Joy Kogawa

Interviews with Joy Kogawa

Joy Kogawa on Japan

12 years ago
Duration 3:04
The Canadian author talks about how organizing the Toronto To Japan: Hope Blossoms Benefit Concert helped her reconnect with her Japanese heritage.

Joy Kogawa recalls her internment experience in 1999

24 years ago
Duration 7:44
One woman remembers the positives and negatives of living in an internment camp. Aired on CBC's Midday on Nov. 11, 1999.
Joy Kogawa releases new memoir chronicling her life inside an internment camp to becoming one of Canada's most celebrated authors