As part of the Tateuchi Public Program Series, Leslie Helm, author of “Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan,” will speak on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.
Helm’s decision to adopt Japanese children launches him on a personal journey through his family’s 140 years in Japan, beginning with his German great-grandfather, who worked as a military adviser in 1870 and defied custom to marry his Japanese mistress. The family’s poignant experiences of love and war help Helm learn to embrace his Japanese and American heritage.
“Yokohama Yankee” is the first book to look at Japan across five generations both from the inside and through foreign eyes. Helm draws extensively on primary source material, including his great-grandfather’s unpublished memoir, to bring his family history to life. The book also contains a wealth of photographs, maps, illustrations, postcards and ephemera from the late 19th century to the present day.
Helm will speak about his family’s experiences as mixed-race Japanese and Americans living on both sides of the Pacific across a turbulent century and a half of conflict and cooperation.
For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit www.janm.org.