Oct. 24 — The Friends of Little Tokyo Branch Library and the Little Tokyo Branch Library will sponsor the 23rd Author Recognition Lunch, featuring Kaori Tanegashima, author of “Daughter of a Gun.”
The luncheon will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Little Tokyo Branch Library, 203 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles. The Bento lunch ($15) will be at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 12:30 p.m.
“Daughter of a Gun” is an autobiography of Tanegashima’s life in China, Japan and the United States. Tanegashima tells stories of her life with clarity and understated humor. She was born in Beijing, China, in 1939, the fourth of six children. Her father was CEO of the Manchurian Railroad Company. Their lives in Beijing were privileged and protected until the end of World War II in 1945. Upon Japan’s defeat, they were forced to leave everything behind and return to Japan. They came back to Sasebo, an overcrowded suburb of Nagasaki, which had just been destroyed by an atom bomb. Their lives changed over night from luxurious comfort to a raw struggle for survival. Her mother actually died of malnutrition three months after the birth of her youngest sister.
Eventually, her father introduced the family into the modern Shinto religion, Perfect Liberty. This meant that Tanegashima would spend her school years in a Perfect Liberty dormitory where personal liberty was not a top priority with rigid discipline and almost total control being the rule. She was determined to escape. When she was 19, she found an American sponsor. Soon, traveling alone, she ws aboard a steamship bound for America.
Today, she is a retired Professor of the Japanese language and Asian American Studies, after teaching for 30 years at East Los Angeles College.
Also featured will be a raffle drawing for a quilt created by the Little Tokyo Library quilter. For more information or questions, contact Kiku Matsumura at (310) 397-8118.