Authors’ Afternoon


Kaori Tanegashima, whose memoir, “Daughter of a Gun,” covers her childhood in Japanese-occupied China and her struggles in Japan and America. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

TORRANCE — The Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California and the Torrance Public Library presented the Author and Artist Faire on Saturday at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library.

Opening and closing remarks were given by Roy Sakamoto, with Iku Kiriyama introducing the authors and artists throughout the day.

“Children’s Hour” programs in the Polly Watts Story Theater featured Sunny Seki (“The Tale of the Lucky Cat,” “The Last Kappa of Old Japan”), Shig

Panelists included Sansei poets Traci Kato Kiriyama (“signaling”) and Amy Uyematsu (“Stone Bow Prayer”). (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Yabu and illustrator Willie Ito (“Hello, Maggie,” “A Boy of Heart Mountain”), Stan Terasaki (“Ghosts for Breakfast”), and Janet Mitsui Brown (“Thanksgiving at Obaachan’s,” “Oshogatsu with Obaachan”).

Panel presentations were made by the following authors:

“Women in History” with Valerie Matsumoto, Ph.D. (“Farming the Home Place,” “Over the Edge”), Sharon Yamato (“Moving Walls” and the DVD “Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn”) and Karen Ishizuka (“Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration”).

“This Is NOT the Poetry You Were Taught in School” with Traci Kato Kiriyama (“signaling”) and Amy Uyematsu (“Stone Bow Prayer,” “Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain”).

“Getting There: The Writing and Publishing Process” with Naomi Hirahara (the Mas Arai mysteries “Summer of the Big Bachi,” “Gasa Gasa Girl,” “Snakeskin Shamisen,” “Blood Hina” and the children’s book “1001 Cranes”) and Cynthia Kadohata (“Kira Kira,” “Weedflower,” “Outside Beauty,” “A Million Shades of Gray”).

“Nutrition for Everybody” with Dr. Mikio Sankey (“Support the Mountain: Nutrition for Expanded Consciousness”).

Sisters Kimberly and Kaleigh Komatsu (“In America’s Shadow”) also spoke. One of the scheduled speakers, author and artist Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz (“Camp Days, 1942-1945”), was unable to attend.

Other participating authors were:

Don Hata, Ph.D. (“Japanese Americans and World War II: Mass Removal, Imprisonment and Redress”)

Eiko Masuyama (“Memories: The Buddhist Church Experiences in the Camps, 1942-1945”)

Glenn Omatsu (“Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment”)

Dale Ann Sato (“Japanese Americans of the South Bay”)

Kaori Tanegashima (“Daughter of a Gun”)

Ansho Mas Uchima (“Seinan: Southwest Los Angeles,” “Nikkei Generals and Admirals in the U.S. Military,” “Fighting Spirit: Judo in Southern California, 1930-1941”)

Wakako Yamauchi (“Songs My Mother Taught Me,” “Rosebud,” and the stage plays “And the Soul Shall Dance,” “The Music Lessons,” “12-1-A”)

Participating artists:

Mary Kageyama Nomura, aka “Songbird of Manzanar” (custom-designed clothing using furoshiki)

Mary Higuchi (paintings, cards, prints of artwork)

Yasuko Sakamoto (custom-designed artwork)

Ruby Tabata (demonstration on using Japanese materials)

Amy Uyematsu (custom origami stationery)

Additional books were displayed and sold by Carolyn Sanwo of Heritage Source.

Suzy Katsuda, Kathy Masaoka, Kay Ochi and Janice Yen of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) screened the DVD “Stand Up for Justice,” a docudrama by John Esaki and Amy Kato about Ralph Lazo, a Mexican American who accompanied his Japanese American friends to Manzanar.


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