Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi

(b.1924) Artist and playwright.

Her experience as a Japanese-American schoolchild in Oceanside, California, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

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Wakako (Nakamura) Yamauchi was born in Westmoreland, California, in 1924, where her family farmed in nearby Brawley in the Imperial Valley. During World War II she was incarcerated in the concentration camp at Poston, Arizona. She worked as an artist for the camp newspaper, the Poston Chronicle. She began her career as a playwright in 1977 when she was encouraged by Mako, the artistic director of East/West Players Theater, to adapt her short story “And the Soul Shall Dance” for the stage. (May 22, 1998)

discrimination identity Pearl Harbor racism World War II

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