SACRAMENTO — The Nichi Bei Foundation Author Series, funded by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, presents a book reading and signing by Hiroshi Kashiwagi, author of “Starting from Loomis and Other Stories,” and Kevin Wildie, author of “Sacramento’s Historic Japantown: Legacy of a Lost Neighborhood,” on Saturday, March 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Nisei War Memorial Hall, 1515 4th St. (near O Street) in Sacramento’s historic Japantown.
Free and open to the public. Co-presented by the Florin JACL.
Event special: $5 off each book for Nichi Bei Foundation members.
An accomplished author, playwright, poet and actor, Kashiwagi also once served as branch manager at San Francisco’s Western Addition Branch Library, and started the library’s Japanese Language Collection.
In his latest book, “Starting from Loomis and Other Stories,” a memoir in short stories, he reflects upon the moments, people, forces, mysteries, and choices that have made him who he is. Central to this collection are his experiences as a Japanese American during World War II — from his imprisonment at Tule Lake to the resulting lifelong stigma of being labeled a “no-no boy” after his years of incarceration.
His nonlinear, multifaceted writing not only reflects the fragmentions of memory induced by traumas of racism, forced removal and incarceration, but also can be read as a bold personal response to the impossible conditions he and other Nisei faced throughout their lifetimes.
Kashiwagi is the winner of the American Book Award in 2005 for “Swimming in the American: A Memoir and Selected Writings.”
By 1910, Japanese pioneers had created a vibrant community in the heart of Sacramento — one of the largest Japantowns in California. In the 1950s when the Capitol Mall Redevelopment Project reshaped the city center, that J-Town was truly lost. Drawing on oral histories and previously unpublished photographs, Wildie traces stories of immigration, incarceration and community solidarity, crafting an unparalleled account of Japantown’s legacy.
Wildie teaches U.S. and Asian American history as an adjunct professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento and Yuba College in Marysville.