Neither does Kogawa endorse the attitude taken by Obasan and Uncle, which is the extreme opposite of Aunt Emily’s. They refuse to engage in a different way, by retreating into themselves and failing to grapple with what it means to be Japanese Canadian in Canada. They practice the customs of their Japanese forebears and, in the case of Obasan, meet racism with intentional incomprehension. Their gratitude toward a country that has treated them with such shocking cruelty may protect them from pain, but it requires a distorted view of reality. For someone of the younger generation, like Naomi, Obasan and Uncle’s model of curling back into an old world is a model that is impossible to follow. Naomi must engage with the world around her, and she does so in a way that strikes a balance between Aunt Emily’s repudiation of her Japanese ethnicity and Obasan and Uncle’s collapse into it. She recognizes the racism, subtle and overt, that surrounds her, and she gradually begins to think hard about what it means to be a Japanese Canadian. But even her moderate stance, Kogawa suggests, does not necessarily result in happiness or total enlightenment.