Hisaye Yamamoto Wiki – Hisaye Yamamoto Biography
Hisaye Yamamoto was an American author known for the short story collection Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories, first published in 1988. Her work confronts issues of the Japanese immigrant experience in America, the disconnect between first and second-generation immigrants, as well as the difficult role of women in society.
As a mainstay, Yamamoto found comfort in reading and writing from a young age, producing almost as much work as she consumed. As a teen, her enthusiasm mounted as Japanese-American newspapers began publishing her letters and short stories. Many Issei immigrants were concerned with preserving their native language, while the interests of the Nisei tended more towards expressions of loyalty to the United States, most easily achieved through knowledge and application of the English language.
As a result, the communication lines between Japanese parents and their children faced rapid degradation, hampering the preservation of traditional Japanese culture in America. Initially writing solely in English, Yamamoto’s recognition of this language barrier and the generational gap would soon become one of her primary influences.
Yamamoto’s stories are often compared to the poetic form, haiku, described as “layered in metaphor, imagery, and irony, but never wordy or given to digression.” She has also been praised “for her subtle realizations of gender and sexual relationships” Her writing is sensitive, painstaking, heartfelt, and delicate, yet blunt and economical, a style that pays homage to her Japanese heritage while establishing contemporary appeal.
Her short stories were compared favorably and stylistically with those of Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor, and Grace Paley.
Hisaye Yamamoton Age
Hisaye Yamamoto was 89 years old at the time of her death.
According to Google’s Doodle page, Yamamoto was born on August 23, 1921, in Redondo Beach, California. Her parents were immigrants from Japan. She was one of three children, along with her two brothers.
She was married for 48 years to Anthony DeSoto until his death in 2003, according to her obituary. She and her husband had five children, Paul, Kibo, Yuki, Rocky, and Gilbert, along with seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, her obituary said.
Cause of Death
Yamamoto suffered a stroke in 2010 and died a year later, on January 30, 2011, in Los Angeles, according to an obituary written by the Los Angeles Times.
Yamamoto said in an interview in 1999 about her experiences in the Japanese internment camps, “I have a lot of anger inside me … I get it out in my writing. … I don’t think I’ll ever get over being angry about the internment, because under the proper circumstances, tears still come to my eyes, you know? … I see that stuff like that has gone on throughout man’s recorded history, so it’s just general anger about injustice…”
Doodler Alyssa Winans said about her work honoring Yamamoto in 2021, “Reading Yamamoto’s work and working on this Doodle amidst all the recent news about rising violence-hit especially hard. It’s difficult to see elements of history repeating themselves, and my heart goes out to all the individuals and families that have been affected. As someone of mixed background, I have a complex relationship with different aspects of my culture, so I feel honored to be able to work on a Doodle for APAHM. I am always glad to see a space where Asian American and Pacific Islander voices, causes, and culture is elevated and celebrated.”
Yamamoto Google Doodle Celebrates Her Today
Yamamoto is being celebrated with a Google Doodle in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
“In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, today’s Doodle celebrates Japanese-American short story author Hisaye Yamamoto, among the first Asian Americans to receive post-war national literary recognition. Throughout an acclaimed career, Yamamoto constructed candid and incisive stories that aimed to bridge the cultural divide between first and second-generation Japanese-Americans by detailing their experiences in the wake of World War II,” wrote Google.
Google Vice President of Marketing Marvin Chow said in a blog post, “This year, for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google is reaffirming its commitment to standing with the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the fight against hatred, while also honoring the diversity of different Asian cultures and elevating API voices. We’re doing this in part by launching a number of initiatives that uplift the API community through our products and in our own workplace.”
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, today's #GoogleDoodle honors Japanese-American short story author Hisaye Yamamoto 📖
A resilient voice for her community, she overcame great adversity to share her story with the 🌎 #AAPIHM
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) May 4, 2021