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North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter by Sakie…

North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter (2009)

by Sakie Yokota

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Although it was an interesting true story, it was hard to read as several other reviewers have commented. The translation seemed awkward. It was also hard getting the overall big picture with the little details getting in the way. ( )
  anyanka323 | Jan 2, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I hate to give this book a negative review, but I have to. The story itself was fascinating. I did not know the history behind it and was very interested and horrified to learn the truth behind North Korea's treachery. However, the book itself was very difficult to read. I understand that details are important, but in several instances I felt there was to much detail and too much repetition. For instance, the description of the disappearance and finding out that her daughter was missing was crucial to the story, but I felt that it was very unorganized in writing out what happened and very repetitive. The timeline was discombobulated and many parts were reiterated.
As a parent myself, I really feel awful for this family. However, the book itself could use more editing to make it flow better. ( )
  annekiwi | Oct 8, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
North Korea kidnapped my daughter is the well-written, and well-documented story of a young Japanese school girl who goes missing on her way home from school one day. Her whereabouts remained a mystery for twenty years, with tight lipped rumours offering little hope of finding young Megumi.

More significant than the events that led up to her disappearance and the reasons it happened in the first place, is the heart wrenching story of how her family dealt with her disappearance while searching for the answers that would lead to the recovery of Megumi. Her mother, Sakie Yokota quickly became her greatest supporter and details her efforts, hope, faith, and painful struggle that she has endured since 1977.

The political reasons Megumi was kidnapped are explained briefly. The purpose of her kidnapping was so that Megumi, and thirteen other suspected abductees, could train North Korean operatives to behave, talk, and otherwise fit in Japanese society undetected. The tragedy of this is that a young girl, who excelled in academics and sports, had a bright future ahead of her in Japan. In one fateful moment, her dreams were stolen from her one afternoon in 1977.

Since then, the family still does not have closure, but they have found more answers and have never given up hope of reuniting with their daughter.

This is a short read of only 137 pages. If you've ever pondered what parents of missing children go through on a year to year basis, this book will provide insight into one family's experience with the unthinkable. ( )
  awriterspen | May 31, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is one of those books that one feels bad giving a negative review to because of the obvious emotion behind it; unfortunately, it just wasn't a very well-done book. Other reviewers have mentioned that it really seems much more like a cathartic exercise for a grieving mother whose daughter disappeared and whose fate was never really resolved. The author spends a lot of time reminiscing about her daughter and very little time talking about the investigation/discovery that her daughter might be alive in North Korea. This is fine, I guess, but not at all what I expected.

Like other reviewers, I would have appreciated a lot more in the way of context - the timeline at the end of the book simply doesn't do it. This could be a fascinating book if it delved more deeply into why. Why did North Korea seem to make a practice of kidnapping Japanese and South Korean citizens? Why does it seem like the Japanese government has neglected these families and not pressed more vigorously for information about their kidnapped citizens? Also, I thought it would have been interesting to learn about the abductees lives once they were in North Korea, but I realize this information is probably extremely hard to come by. Like others, I was confused by the brief mentions and photographs of a husband and daughter of the author's kidnapped child. Did they ever meet? How did the alleged granddaughter come to have a picture of her grandparents?

In the end, I was left with feelings of great sympathy for this family, but a lot of questions about why this had happened in the first place. ( )
  fannyprice | Apr 5, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I remember hearing about this story while watching NHK a few years ago. It's like something out of a spy novel, and very strange.
However, as interesting and sad as the story is, this book has some serious flaws. It's very cyclical; the author repeats herself in nearly every chapter. The writing is harsh and the emotion seems forced (though I don't know whether this is merely a product of the translation). ( )
  theresa2011 | Mar 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193428744X, Paperback)

On November 15, 1977, 13 year-old Megumi Yokota disappeared without a trace while on her way home from school. Twenty years later a newspaper revealed she was abducted by North Korean operatives and was still in North Korea. Megumi and at least 13 others were taken from coastal cities in Japan during the 1970s and 80s, shoved into holding cells on spy vessels, and shipped off to North Korea to train agents in Japanese culture and customs. The perpetrators of the Korean Air Flight 858 bombing in 1987 posed as Japanese nationals thanks to such training.

North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter is Sakie Yokota’s memoir of the last 30 years without her daughter. Her resounding faith is inspirational as is her unfaltering determination to repatriate Megumi. Mrs. Yokota vividly recounts the horrifying panic when Megumi went missing and the entire ordeal of her daughter’s absence.

In 2002, North Korea released five of the victims, claiming the other eight were dead; however, it refused to provide legitimate evidence to support these claims. After four years of deliberations in Japan, Sakie Yokota attended the first U.S. Congressional hearing on the abductions and asked America for help.

If alive, Megumi is now 44 years old. Her mother and father have aged, her twin brothers have families of their own, and while they know where Megumi was taken to, she still has not been returned. Mrs. Yokota is strongly opposed to any “de-listing” of North Korea barring the return of the remaining abductees.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:47 -0400)

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