After returning to her hometown of Kobe, Japan for the first time in thirteen years, Kyoko Mori finds herself a stranger in a foreign land. Her memoir, The Dream of Water, is not only her account of the seven-week trip back to Japan but also her discovery of many family secrets, her awakeningssafreeindividual,andherchallengetothedictatorialJapanese patriarchy embodied by her father, the society, and the nation. Kyoko Mori, a Japanese immigrant to the United States of America, won a New York Times Notable Book of the Year award and a publishers weekly Editor`s Choice Best Book award with her first novel, Shizuko`s Daughter, in 1993. Even though sharing a similar plotand theme with that of her award-winning fiction, her memoir, The Dream of Water, is more disturbing and penetrating by virtue of the author`s keen observation and examination of Japanese culture. Due to the switch in genre-from fiction to memoir-more agonizing sentiments are unveiled. Positioning herself as a grown-up and an outsider, but inspecting her family and Japanese society from an insider`s viewpoint, Mori analyzes the physical and spiritual violence that her suicidal mother suffered, the hypocrisy in the discrepancy between the public image and private life of her father, and the egocentric supremacy of Japanese culture in the society. This paper will discuss how Kyoto Mori, through her journey to Japan, awakens to herempathy with people of differentracesand to her sense of self as a woman with independence and confidence.