hisaye Yamamoto’s Professional Career

hisaye Yamamoto's professional career

Hisaye Yamamoto was a Japanese American writer. Her writing typically focuses on the experience of young, second-generation Japanese Americans, or “Nisei”, in California. Yamamoto began her professional career as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. In 1942, she was one of many Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. After the war, she moved to New York City and continued her career as a journalist. In 1949, she returned to Los Angeles and started writing short stories. Yamamoto’s work has been anthologized several times.

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Her early life and education

Hisaye Yamamoto was born in 1921 in Redondo Beach, California, the second of four children. Her parents were Japanese immigrants who had met and married in Los Angeles. When Hisaye was five, the family moved to the Los Angeles Boyle Heights neighborhood.
hisaye Yamamoto's professional career

Hisaye’s father died when she was eleven years old, and her mother took over the responsibility of raising the family. Hisaye attended elementary school and junior high school in Los Angeles. In 1938, she graduated from Roosevelt High School.

After high school, Hisaye enrolled at UCLA. However, she only lasted one semester before dropping out due to financial difficulties. She then went to work for The Pacific Citizen, a Japanese American newspaper based in Los Angeles.

Her start in writing

Hisaye Yamamoto’s start in writing came when she was just a child. Her journalist father would often bring her to his office, and she would watch him work. This experience sparked her interest in writing, and she began to write her own stories.

In high school, she became the editor of her school newspaper. She later studied journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, she worked as a reporter for various newspapers. It was during this time that she started writing fiction on the side.

Her first story was published in 1949 in a literary magazine. It was called “The Highgrader” and told the story of a young woman who married a man who worked in the mines. The story was well-received and led to Yamamoto being able to quit her job as a reporter and focus on writing full-time.

Since then, Yamamoto has published many stories and articles. She is best known for her short story collection Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories, which won the Pushcart Prize in 1981.
hisaye Yamamoto's professional career

Her career as a journalist

Hisaye Yamamoto was a Japanese American journalist who had a long and successful career. She is best known for her work with the Los Angeles Times, where she was a reporter and editor for many years.

Yamamoto was born in California in 1921, but her family moved back to Japan when she was just a few years old. She returned to the United States in 1939 to attend high school in New York City. After graduation, she enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles but left after just one year to start working as a journalist.

Yamamoto’s first job was with the Pacific Citizen, a Japanese American Citizens League newspaper. She later worked for various other publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. In addition to her journalistic work, Yamamoto also wrote several books, including an autobiography entitled “Hisaye Yamamoto: A Retrospective.”

Yamamoto died in 2006 at the age of 85.

Her award-winning short stories

Hisaye Yamamoto was born in Redondo Beach, California, to Japanese immigrants. She began writing stories while still in high school and had her first story published in a national magazine when she was just eighteen years old. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English, she worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Her work often deals with the experiences of young Japanese American women growing up in California. In “Seventeen Syllables,” a young woman rebels against her traditionalist mother by writing haiku poetry. Other stories explore the themes of love and marriage, cultural identity, and prejudice.

Yamamoto has won numerous awards for her fiction, including an O. Henry Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award nomination.
hisaye Yamamoto's professional career

Her novels

Her best-known work is the short story collection Seventeen Syllables, which includes the title story, “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” and “Yuki no Taiyo” (“Snow on the Mountain”).

Hisaye Yamamoto’s legacy

Hisaye Yamamoto’s legacy as a writer is evident in how she captures Japanese Americans’ experience in her work. Her stories provide a window into the lives of those forced to assimilate into American culture while still maintaining their own identity. Yamamoto’s writing style is unique in blurring Eastern and Western literature elements.

The story follows her struggles to find her place in a new culture and ultimately ends with her return to Japan. This story represents Yamamoto’s ability to write about the experiences of Japanese Americans in a way that is both honest and poignant.


Hisaye Yamamoto was a pioneer in the field of Asian American literature. She wrote stories that dealt with the experiences of Japanese Americans, as well as other minorities.


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