Hisaye Yamamoto was an American author best known for his short story collection Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. The book was first published in 1988 and delved into Japanese-American culture of the 20th century through the experience of individuals born or spent time in Hawai’i when it was still under an American Territory.
Hisaye Yamamoto was a Japanese-American author known for the short story collection Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. The stories in the collection are often about the relationships between Japanese immigrants and their American-born children.
Yamamoto was born in 1921 in California. Her parents were both immigrants from Japan. Yamamoto’s father died when she was a child, and her family struggled financially. Yamamoto dropped out of high school to help support her family. She later worked as a journalist for various newspapers.
Yamamoto’s experience as a second-generation immigrant informed her writing. Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories was published in 1949 and received critical acclaim. The stories in the collection offer a rare glimpse into the lives of Japanese immigrants in America.
In addition to her work as an author, Yamamoto was also an active civil rights activist. She worked to promote understanding and cooperation between different racial and ethnic groups. Yamamoto passed away in 2011 at the age of 89.
Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories
“Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories” is a short story collection by Hisaye Yamamoto. The story, “Seventeen Syllables,” is about a Japanese woman living in America and trying to deal with her culture shock. She is also having trouble communicating with her husband, who does not understand Japanese. Another story in the collection, “The Legend of Miss Sasagawa,” is about a woman who has an affair with a married man. This story deals with the theme of betrayal. “Yoneko’s Earthquake” is another story in the collection that deals with the theme of cultural identity. In this story, a young girl tries to come to terms with her Japanese heritage and American upbringing.
The stories in this collection are all written in a straightforward style. This makes them easy to read and understand. However, the stories are also compelling and moving. They deal with important themes such as cultural identity, betrayal, and loss.
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What are stories about?
Stories are about people and the human experience. They can be about love, loss, hope, fear, or other emotions. Often, they are about characters struggling with some aspect of their lives. Yamamoto’s stories are no different. In “Seventeen Syllables,” the protagonist is a Japanese-American woman struggling to find her place in the world. She feels suffocated by her traditional role as a wife and mother and yearns for something more. In “The Amachan,” a young girl is dealing with her father’s death and trying to find her place in the world without him. These stories, and others like them, explore the human experience in a relatable and meaningful way.
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Intriguing Facts about Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories
Alice Nishimoto, a character in Hisaye Yamamoto’s “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” is an elderly Japanese woman who immigrated to the United States decades ago. In the story, she reminisces about her life in Japan and how different it was from her life in America. She talks about how, in Japan, her family would have never allowed her to marry a man like her American husband, who was not wealthy or well-educated. Alice also comments on how she misses the simplicity of life in Japan and how everything in America seems so complicated.
Yamamoto’s “Seventeen Syllables” is also about a Japanese immigrant woman, but this woman is much younger and has a different experience than Alice Nishimoto. The story is narrated by the woman’s daughter, who tells us about her mother’s struggles to adjust to life in America. The mother is often homesick and longs for the days when she can just sit and appreciate the beauty of seventeen syllables. Now that she’s in America, she feels like she has to constantly be doing something and can no longer enjoy the simple things in life.
These two stories show just how different the experiences of Japanese immigrants can be depending on their age, gender, and social status. Alice Nishimoto came to America during a time when fewer Japanese women were immigrating and had a more positive experience.
Hisaye Yamamoto’s life
Born in Redondo Beach, California, to Japanese parents in 1921, Hisaye Yamamoto was raised in Mineola, Arizona, and later in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. As a child, she attended a Japanese language school and was teased for her inability to speak English fluently. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto’s father was sent to an internment camp in Arizona. The family moved back to Japan upon his release but later returned to the United States.
Yamamoto began her career as a journalist with the Nisei newspaper Rafu Shimpo. In 1950, she married Journalist William Mackenzie and had two children. The couple divorced ten years later.
In the late 1960s, Yamamoto started writing short stories. Her work often explored the generational conflicts between Issei (first generation) and Nisei (second generation) Japanese Americans and the experience of being a minority in America. In 1974, Yamamoto published her most famous work, Seventeen Syllables, and Other Stories. The collection won several awards and helped establish her reputation as one of the most promising authors of her generation.
Yamamoto continued writing until her death in 2011. Her work has been anthologized widely and is taught in colleges across the United States.
What kind of person was Hisaye Yamamoto?
Hisaye Yamamoto was a shy and introverted person. She was also a very private and did not like to talk about her personal life.