Home Biography Hisaye Yamamoto: A Famous American Author Story

Hisaye Yamamoto: A Famous American Author Story

Hisaye Yamamoto

Hisaye Yamamoto was a well-known American Author, popular for her fantastic work. One of her famous short stories is “Seventeen Syllables” and “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara.”

Discover the life history of a legendary writer who describes a generation of Japanese-Americans living in the U.S.

Personal Information

Below is some interesting information about the life of  Hisaye Yamamoto:


August 23, 1921




Short story

Famous Works

Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories

Famous Awards

American book award

Lifetime achievement

Spouse Name

Anthony DeSoto

Introduction of Hisaye Yamamoto

Who is Hisaye Yamamoto? Why was she so popular?

Hisaye Yamamoto was a famous American author born on August 23, 1921, in Redondo Beach, California. 

Second-Generation Japanese American

She was a second-generation Japanese American, also known as Nisei. Her parents were immigrants from Japan, and she grew up in a predominantly white community.

Early Life as a Writer

Hisaye Yamamoto grew up in Southern California, where she experienced racism and discrimination due to her Japanese heritage. During World War II, she and her family were forced to live in an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese Americans.

After the war, Yamamoto attended Compton Community College and transferred to UCLA, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She began writing and publishing short stories in literary magazines during this time.

She started her work as a journalist, writing for a Japanese-language magazine in Los Angeles. During the 1950s, Yamamoto focused on writing short stories and essays. Her stories were published in different literary newspapers and anthologies.

No doubt, her writing skills often describe the history and identities of Japanese Americans. Mainly the problems and hardships they faced during her lifetime. In short, Hisaye Yamamoto’s essays often describe characters suffering to find their space in a society that often treated them with suspicion and discrimination.

From Yamamoto’s work, we learned about the experiences of Japanese American communities during and after World War II. Yamamoto was famous for her skills in capturing the complexities of life in Japanese-American societies. Also, her short essays express the tensions between Japanese-American culture and mainstream American culture. In short, she was a famous influencer in the Japanese-American community and a respected voice in American literature.

Hisaye Yamamoto

World War II

According to Hisaye Yamamoto google history, her writing career began in the early 1940s, during World War II, when she wrote articles and editorials for the Japanese American newspaper “The Kashu Mainichi.” 

First Short Story of Hisaye Yamamoto

In 1948, Hisaye Yamamoto books were available around Japan and America. Her first short story, “The High-Heeled Shoes,” was well-received by critics and readers alike.

Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories

Hisaye Yamamoto’s seventeen syllables are the best short story of her collection. It was published in 1988. The exhibition explores themes of race, gender, identity, and the Japanese American experience. 

The story “Seventeen Syllables” is about a young Japanese American girl discovering her mother’s secret past as a haiku poet.

Marriage Life 

In 1948, Yamamoto met a skilled Chinese American writer and journalist named Anthony Lee. Both of them get married. 

Lee had a remarkable impact on Yamamoto’s writing style. Afterward, both of them worked together on different projects. 

Rabbit in the Moon 

In 1999, they worked on a famous documentary named “Rabbit in the Moon.

Writing Style of Yamamoto

Yamamoto’s writing style is characterized by her attention to detail, vivid descriptions, and nuanced portrayals of her characters. Her stories often examine the complexities of the Japanese American experience, including the challenges of assimilation, discrimination, and cultural identity.

Throughout her career, Hisaye Yamamoto received many accolades for her writing, including:

  • The American Book Award
  • The Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award
  • The UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Popular Books of Hisaye Yamamoto

Some of the top popular books written by Hisaye Yamamoto are:

  • The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir
  • Seventeen Syllables
  • The Legend of Miss Sasagawara
  • Wilshire Bus 
  • The Brown House
  • Yoneko’s Earthquake
  • Morning Rain
  • Epithalamium
  • Las Vegas Charley
  • Life Among the Oil Fields, A Memoir
  • The Eskimo Connection
  • My Father Can Beat Muhammad Ali
  • The Underground Lady
  • A Day In Little Tokyo
  • Death Rides the Rails to Poston
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fire in Fontana
  • Florentine Gardens

Awards and Honors

Hisaye Yamamoto was a Japanese-American author best known for her short stories. Her stories mainly explore Japanese-Americans’ experiences, particularly those interned during World War II.

Undoubtedly, Hisaye Yamamoto age was very young when she became a famous author in America. Due to her continuous hard work and excellent skills, she received many awards from the beginning of her career.

She received several awards and honors during her lifetime, including:

  • Creative Arts Award in Literature from the Japanese American National Museum (1994)
  • American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Before Columbus Foundation (1986)
  • Association for Asian American Studies Lifetime Achievement Award (1998)
  • PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement (1998)
  • The National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1976)
  • The UCLA Asian American Studies Center George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair in Japanese American Internment, Redress, and Community (2002)

Yamamoto’s literary contributions continue to be celebrated today, and her works remain essential touchstones in Asian American literature.

Google Doodle Tribute Hisaye Yamamoto 

On Tuesday, May 3, 2021, Google featured Hisaye Yamamoto on their homepage to pay her tribute. 

Hisaye Yamamoto

How did Hisaye Yamamoto die?

On January 30, 2011, Yamamoto died. Her health has not been well since a stroke in 2010. Hisaye Yamamoto cause of death is natural. Here the question is: How old is hisaye Yamamoto when she died? She was 89 years old when she died.


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