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Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi is the thirtieth book in Scholastic Canada's Dear Canada series. The book was written by Susan Aihoshi; her only book in the series. It was published in February 2012 and was followed by Norah McClintock's A Sea of Sorrows.


"For my grandparents"

Book description[]

"Friday, December 12, 1941
After supper I read the
New Canadian. The news is all discouraging. Eighteen hundred fishermen are out of work along with fifty newspaper workers (and that includes Mama!) and all the Japanese schoolteachers. Somebody set fire to a rooming house on Alexander Street and smashed windows in some West End and Grandview shops. All because the workers or business owners are Japanese!
It makes me feel sick. How can anybody do such dreadful things?
We've heard some awful things happening to Jewish people in Germany because of the Nazis. That sounded so far away until now. I keep telling myself at least we live in Canada and those things
can't possibly happen to us."



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Torn Apart characters


Main article: Susan Aihoshi



  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2012) - commended[2]
  • Red Cedar Award, BC Young Readers' Choice (2013) - short-listed[3]


"The publisher wishes to thank Barbara Hehner for her attention to the factual details, and Dr. Michiko Midge Ayukawa, author of Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1894-1941, for her historical expertise."
"This book would not have been possible without my mother, Molly Aihoshi, and her sister, Tomiko Kadota. Their childhood memories of 2321 Oxford Street, along with their later experiences in New Denver and Rosebery, provided rich material for Mary's diary.
Special thanks go to my uncle Barney Aihoshi and his wife Setty, and my aunt Alice Sakaguchi and her husband Herb for sharing their stories of those long ago years. I am indebted to Ina Boxeur for memories of Templeton Junior High and for providing me invaluable copies of
TeeJay, Templeton's student magazine from 1941 and 1942. Special thanks also to my mother's childhood friends and former Girl Guides, Margaret Lloyd and Michiko Kayama.
Thanks to Alfred and Lucie Iwasaki for their generous hospitality whenever I am in Vancouver. Nora Kaji, Stephen Kaji, Hannah Mizuno and Mary Rose MacLachan all helped me immeasurably. Emiko Mori and Toshiko Usami welcomed me into their homes and answered my questions. Thanks to Eve Baker for reading an early draft, and to Grace Gabber, Deanna Rudder and Basia Thompson for their helpful insights into friendship. My husband Roger Stevens deserves acknowledgement as my intrepid driver in the wilds of Alberta and B.C.
For assistance with my research, I thank Catherine Miller Mort of Girl Guides of Canada and Sakaye Hashimoto of the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. Alexis Jensen and Linda Reid of the Japanese Canadian National Museum were extremely helpful in finding historical photos, as was Peter Wakayama of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Anne-Marie Metten of Kogawa House and Kevin MacLean of the Galt Museum & Archives. I also wish to extend my thanks to Dr. Michiko Midge Ayukawa, the historical consultant.
Finally, I am deeply grateful to Laurie Coulter for her advice and moral support, Hugh Brewster for his inspiration, Barbara Hehner for her fact-checking, and my patient and most wonderful editor, Sandra Bogart Johnston.
Arigatō gozaimasu!"


  • The portrait on the cover is a photograph of a thirteen-year-old girl named Fumiye Ohori in 1931. The background is a detail of Leonard Frank's photograph titled Japanese Internees Leaving Slocan Valley.[4][5][6]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]