GARDENA — The Manzanar Committee will honor Hank Umemoto, author of the newly released book “Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker” on Sunday, March 17, at 12:30 p.m. at the Merit Park Recreation Room, across the street from 56 Merit Park Drive in Gardena.
Umemoto, who was born in 1928, grew up in Florin, near Sacramento. At the age of 14, he was sent to Manzanar in California’s Owens Valley, one of ten American concentration camps where over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.
After Manzanar, Umemoto struggled, to say the least, spending over three years on the streets of Skid Row. But he endured, finishing high school and attending Los Angeles City College before serving with the 38th Military Intelligence Service during the Korean War.
Upon his return from Korea, he attended California State University Los Angeles, married, raised a family, and eventually ran a print shop for 32 years.
In “Manzanar to Mount Whitney,” Umemoto shares memories of his childhood, his time behind the barbed wire at Manzanar, and his life after camp.
“With both grace and humor, Hank Umemoto tells stories of resilience, adventure, and courage,” said Maggie Wittenburg, executive director of the Manzanar History Association. “His engaging memoir is a welcome addition to the literature of the Japanese American experience.”
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (323) 662-5102, email [email protected]
For information on the book, contact Heyday Books at (510) 549-3564 or visit www.heydaybooks.com.