How Old Was Hisaye Yamamoto When She Died? Let’s Find Out!

In this article we will discuss about the life Of Hisaye Yamamoto!

Hisaye Yamamoto’s short story book Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories was published in 1988. Yamamoto was born in Redondo Beach, California, to Japanese-American parents. Because of the California Alien Land Law, her parents were forced to relocate frequently, therefore her generation, the Nisei, was frequently on the road. Her work explores the experiences of Japanese immigrants in the United States, the distinction between first- and second-generation immigrants, and the difficult status of women in society.

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Who was Hisaye Yamamoto?

Hisaye Yamamoto, a Japanese-American short story writer, was among the first Asian Americans to earn postwar national literary distinction. As the child of Japanese immigrants in America, she endured various difficulties as a result of prejudice and was subjected to violence during WWII. In her short tales and book, she described her general experience during and after WWII. She was best known for her collection of short tales, ‘Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories,’ which was originally published in 1988. Most recently, she was featured in a Google Doodle on 4 May 2021 to commemorate the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Hisaye Yamamoto’s Early Life and Education

She found solace in reading and writing about those difficulties when she was young. At the age of 14, she began writing short tales and letters using Napoleon’s pen name, but her work was originally rejected. She did, however, often contribute to the English-language part of the Japan-California daily newspaper Kashu Mainichi Shinbun as a teenager.

Hisaye Yamamoto's

She worked on yearbooks for high school and junior college. She got an Associate of Arts degree from Compton Junior College after studying French, Spanish, German, and Latin.

Yamamoto’s Awards and Recognitions

Yamamoto had been acknowledged since her early writings, but she earned widespread popularity in the 1970s. ‘Yoneko’s Earthquake,’ one of her short stories from 1951, was designated one of the Best American Short Stories: 1952. For her contributions to American multicultural literature, she received the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1986. Her first edition of ‘Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories’ received the Association of Asian American Studies’ Literature Award in 1988.

How Old Was Hisaye Yamamoto When She Died?

Hisaye Yamamoto, one of the first Asian American writers to attain literary fame after WWII with highly polished short stories depicting a world characterized by culture and horrific historical strokes, died on January 30, 2011, at her Los Angeles home. She had a stroke last year. At the time, she was 89 years old.

Hisaye Yamamoto's

Ms. Yamamoto, who has been compared to short-story masters such as Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor, and Grace Paley, centered her imagination on the issei and nisei, the first- and second-generation Japanese Americans who were targets of the public outpouring of rage in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

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How Did Hisaye Yamamoto Start Her Career?

This collection, first published in 1988, features stories written during a forty-year period following World War II’s end. The collection includes some of Yamamoto’s most-anthologized pieces, including “Yoneko’s Earthquake,” “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” “The Brown House,” and “Seventeen Syllables,” which many consider to be Yamamoto’s ultimate masterpiece.

This story tells the parallel stories of a young Nisei girl and her Issei mother: the daughter’s inability to understand her mother’s interest in haiku, the daughter’s budding romance with a young Mexican boy, the mother’s victory in a haiku competition, and the father’s resentment of her mother’s artistic success.

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Yamamoto’s writings are occasionally compared to the poetry form, haiku, classified as “layered in metaphor, imagery, and sarcasm, yet never wordy or given to digression. Her “subtle realizations of gender and sexual connections” have received praise as well.

Her art is sensitive, meticulous, emotive, and delicate, yet truthful and parsimonious, paying homage to her Japanese ancestors while being current. Her short tales have been likened to those of Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor, and Grace Paley.

How was her Life in World War II?

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy bombed Pearl Harbor. Within four months after the bombing, the US government detained nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans, two-thirds of whom were born in the US.

Yamamoto’s family was among the nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans forcibly relocated to US government detention camps in Poston, Arizona, following WWII. She was 21 years old when they were imprisoned in prison camps, where they were subjected to physical, social, and psychological abuse, as well as horrible living circumstances. Despite her ordeals, she contributed articles and a serialized mystery called ‘Death Rides the Rails to Poston‘ to the prison camp publication The Poston Chronicle.

This forceful migrant movement contributed to the physical, social, and psychological dislocation that Yamamoto explored in her work by forsaking homes, farms, and businesses. Japanese women in the United States often had no female confidants outside of their families.

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Literature and poetry flourished in the new territory, despite the numerous hardships they faced. As a result of the many types of confinement and relocation they encountered, whether it was incarceration, internment, poverty, gender, or even marriage, art became the only source of liberation in the lives of both Issei and Nisei women.

Post-WWII Career

Yamamoto and her family came to California, LA, after being liberated from the prison camp at the end of World War II in 1945. She then worked for the Los Angeles Tribune, an African American weekly newspaper. She worked mostly as a columnist for the journal, although she also worked as a field reporter and editor.

Hisaye Yamamoto's

For the following three years, she gathered stories for the Los Angeles Tribune, where she found the persistent bigotry that many underrepresented groups experienced in the United States. These experiences inspired her to write for the Asian American community and other marginalized groups. In her 1985 book, ‘Fire in Fontana,’ she recounted her experiences over those three years, tracing the beginnings of her sense of connection with the African people.

During the hectic years of child-rearing, she had a mental breakdown and had to spend a month in a Los Angeles treatment center. She died on January 30, 2011, at the age of 89, in Los Angeles. She had previously experienced a stroke.

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