A war from far across the ocean washed up onto our new country’s shore.
I wish that I could skip this chapter of the story, darling. Just as you may want to skip parts of your own life story in time. But, you see, one mustn’t do that. You need to know your darkness to know your light.
And I can see so much light in you.
So I’ll keep going through the dark.
Framed as a conversation between a grandmother and the reader, Shizue’s Path follows the story of a young Shizue growing up in Canada against the backdrop of World War II. As the war worsens, so too does Shizue’s position in Canadian society. Torn away from her elementary school and sent to an internment camp along with her family, Shizue looks to anyone who might speak truth to power—but she is met with silence.
After the war, things only get worse for Shizue as Japanese-Canadians face the threat of deportation. Fortunately, the Canadians around Shizue are no longer silent. As various communities come together to protest this racist bill, Shizue learns first-hand how one individual can have a far-reaching effect on another’s life.
Inspired by the life of his great-aunt, Mark Sakamoto weaves personal and political history with a keen sense of justice and optimism. Enriched by Rachel Wada’s sophisticated illustrations, Shizue’s Path is an unforgettable story about a girl who, swept up by the waters of the world, uses her voice to create ripples of kindness.
MARK SAKAMOTO is an entrepreneur and investor in digital health and digital media and is the executive vice-president of Think Research, a global digital-health company. His first book, Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents, debuted as a #1 national bestseller and went on to win CBC Canada Reads in 2018. The book is being developed into a feature film and has been theatrically staged by Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company and Theatre Calgary. A frequent television presence, Mark was the host and executive producer of Good People, a documentary series that explored humanity’s biggest problems and was co-produced by Vice Media and the CBC. He sits on the Giller Foundation’s board of directors. Mark Sakamoto lives in Toronto and Prince Edward County with his wife and their two daughters.
RACHEL WADA was raised between Japan and Hong Kong and is currently based in Vancouver. She has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, advertisements and even a mural. Her first children’s book project, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, won the Freeman Book Award for Children’s Literature. Her second children’s book, From the Tops of the Trees, was published in the fall of 2021 to great acclaim. Visually, Rachel Wada’s works are characterized by the use of rich colours, textures and fine details in both digital and traditional mediums.