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Lara Jean Okihiro

Lara Jean Okihiro is a writer, researcher and educator of mixed Japanese Canadian heritage living in Toronto. Okihiro earned a doctorate in English from the University of Toronto. Her forthcoming monograph Lost Objects: Literature and the Dispossession of Incarcerated Nikkei (McGill-Queens University Press) draws from research conducted for her doctorate. Her first published novel, Obaasan’s Boots is co-written by her cousin and inspired by the life of their grandmother.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Obaasan’s Boots

Co-authored by Janis Bridger.
Toronto: Second Story Press, 2023.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Cousins Lou and Charlotte don’t know a lot about their grandmother’s life. When their Obaasan invites them to spend the day in her garden, she also invites them into their family’s secrets. Grandma shares her experience as a Japanese Canadian during WWII, revealing the painful story of Japanese internment. Her family was forced apart. Whole communities were uprooted, moved into camps, their belongings stolen. Lou and Charlotte struggle with the injustice, even as they marvel at their grandmother’s strength. They begin to understand how their identities have been shaped by racism, and that history is not only about the past.


Lara Okihiro personal website

Publisher Second Story Press