Amy Uyeki

Amy Uyeki is a visual artist who lives and works in Arcata, California. Recently she and her mother, Aiko Uyeki, published a poetry book of her grandmother’s senryu poems, Sanae, Senryu Poet: Her Life in 5-7-5, The Poetry of Shizue Harada . She may be reached at

Updated December 2010

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Exploring Japanese Traditions From Behind the Redwood Curtain

A recent trip to Los Angeles to present at the Japanese American National Museum afforded me a glimpse into a culture in which I’m not often immersed—my own.

I live in the uppermost reaches of California, the real Northern California, not the San Francisco Bay area, which we North Coasters refer to as Central California. It’s a wilder region with more redwoods than people, a rocky and scenic coastline, and a notoriety borne out of its most recent export, marijuana. No, we are not all potheads up here, or old hippies.

Nor are we all Japanese Americans ...

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