A Place to Belong Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Place to Belong.
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Understanding Japanese Culture

A Place to Belong explores the Japanese culture. The first evening Hanako and her family were with her grandparents, Hanako and Kagako offer to help Baachan with dinner. Baachan repeatedly insists she does not need their help, saying they must be tired from traveling. Hanako, however, knows that Baachan is simply being a good Japanese hostess, because “the Japanese way was to say no even when you meant yes” (Location 1055). She earned Baachan's permission to help by saying her mother will be displeased if she does not help.

Hanako's father, Tadashi, was the only son of the family, and he was utterly spoiled by his parents, which is another tradition of the Japanese culture. Hanako believes “it was all right to spoil kids when you didn't have much to give them” (Location 1140), but she also notes that Papa does not act as if he...

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This section contains 2,866 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Place to Belong Study Guide
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