When the Emperor Was Divine: A Novel Short Essay - Answer Key

Julie Otsuka
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 128 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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1. What is the premise of WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE?

WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE tells the story of a Japanese-American family from Berkeley, California, which was forced to relocate to internment camps during World War II. The story begins in the spring of 1942 as the family is preparing to report for internment.

2. How are Japanese-Americans notified that they are to be relocated and what indicates that people are preparing?

Signs have begun appearing all over town instructing people of Japanese descent that they must prepare to be relocated. After the first time a woman sees a notice, she goes home to pack. She is still packing nine days later. Storefronts are being boarded up, and newspapers deliver reports of the ongoing war.

3. What is the timing of the relocation effort and why was the woman's husband arrested prior to this relocation?

The action begins shortly after the United States' entry into World War II. If the woman's husband had been arrested in December of 1941, instead of being allowed to relocate with all the other people of Japanese ancestry, then he must have been a person the FBI considered to be of significant influence, and a possible threat, within the Japanese-American community.

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