Hisaye Yamamoto (1921-)

Hisaye Yamamoto was born in the United States of Japanese immigrant parents. On December 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan signaled the United States' entrance into World War II. At that time, Yamamoto and her family were forced to spend three years at the Arizona Poston Relocation Center which was one of ten Japanese internment camps in the U. S. Many of the imprisoned Japanese-Americans were American born citizens. While at the camp, Yamamoto was a reporter and columnist for the camp newspaper, the Poston Chronicle. The camp experiences endured by Hisaye and her family tremendously affected her life and are discussed throughout her writings.

In 1945, after her release from Poston, Hisaye moved to Los Angeles to work as a reporter for the Los Angeles Tribune, a small weekly newspaper aimed at the African-American community. Her first story, High-heeled Shoes, appeared in the Partisan Review in 1948. A story which draws upon her war-time camp experiences, The Legend of Miss Sasagawara, was published in 1950. Hisaye Yamamoto's stories depict the cultural struggles of women, their daughters, and Japanese Americans.

Hisaye Yamamoto's accomplishments include an American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Before Columbus Foundation, publication of numerous short stories about the Japanese American experience and the adaptation of two stories, Seventeen Syllables and Yoneko's Earthquake, for an American Playhouse/PBS film entitled Hot Summer Winds.

Related Links

Yoneko's Earthquake

Post-war Nisei Women Writers

The Role of Culture in "Seventeen Syllables"

Japanese Internment Camps

Voices from the Gap

Hisaye Yamamoto

The Japanese American Network

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