In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the present Doodle celebrates Japanese-American short story author Hisaye Yamamoto, among the first Asian Americans to get post-war national literary recognition.
All through an acclaimed career, Yamamoto constructed candid and incisive stories that intended to bridge the cultural divide among first and second-generation Japanese-Americans by itemizing their experiences in the wake of World War II.
Brought into the world on August 23, 1921, in Redondo Beach, California, Hisaye Yamamoto was the daughter of Japanese immigrant parents. In her youngsters, Yamamoto wrote articles for a daily newspaper for Japanese Californians under the pen name Napoleon.
Following the episode of World War II and because of Executive Order 9066, Yamamoto’s family was among the more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans forced by the U.S. to relocate to government prison camps (aka Japanese internment camps), where they faced violence and harsh conditions. Despite the injustices encountered daily, she kept her literary aspirations alive as a reporter and columnist for the “Poston Chronicle,” the camp newspaper.
As the dust settled from the war’s end, Yamamoto was released from the internment camp and got back to the Los Angeles region in 1945.
Yamamoto before long looked for some kind of employment as a reporter with the “Los Angeles Tribune,” a weekly Black-owned and founded newspaper that tried to diversify the voices in journalism and unify the Angelo Black people community with Asian Americans.
Throughout the following three years gathering news for the publication, Yamamoto witnessed firsthand the widespread racism that many underrepresented groups faced. These encounters significantly changed Yamamoto, who turned into an artistic hero of the Asian American people group, however for other people who additionally suffered discrimination.
In 1948, Yamamoto distributed her first short story, “The High Heeled Shoes,” which motivated Yamamoto to leave journalism and pursue writing full-time, frequently investigating themes identified with the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity in her works.
The adversity she defeated at the prison camp formed the reason for quite a bit of Yamamoto’s work, like her 1950 short story “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara.” She likewise stayed a life-long advocate in the battle against war, racism, and violence.
In 1986, Yamamoto’s storytelling won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement for her commitments to American multicultural literature.
Here’s to you, Hisaye Yamamoto!
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