Obasan is a novel by the Japanese-Canadian author Joy Kogawa. First published by Lester and Orpen Dennys in 1981, it chronicles Canada's internment and persecution of its citizens of Japanese descent during the Second World War from the perspective of a young child. In 2005, it was the One Book, One Vancouver selection.
The book is often required reading for university English courses on Canadian Literature. It also figures in Ethnic Studies and Asian American Literature courses in the United States.
Kogawa uses strong imagery of silence, stones and streams throughout the novel. She has lots of interesting dreams that are carried throughout the novel as well. Themes depicted in the novel include memory and forgetting, prejudice and tolerance, identity, and justice versus injustice. Kogawa contemplates many of these themes in her poetry as well.