Sharon Yamato
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Sharon Yamato is a writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles. She has produced and directed two documentary films, Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn, and A Flicker in Eternity.  She also wrote Moving Walls: Preserving the Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps. She has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, and is currently a columnist for The Rafu Shimpo. She has served as a consultant for the Japanese American National Museum, Go For Broke National Education Center, and has conducted oral history interviews for Densho in Seattle.

Updated June 2014

Articles by Sharon Yamato

Stranger in a Strange Land: A Sansei’s First Trip to Japan

Sharon Yamato

I’d never felt a passionate connection to the country of my ancestors. I blamed it on the war: postwar America saw Issei and Nisei trying to get over being labeled the “enemy,” and we Sansei children were faced with a curious dilemma in many ways initiated by our parents ...

Nanka Nikkei Voices

Kawana’s Kamaboko Kingdom

Sharon Yamato

One thing was clear to businessman Frank Kawana when he took over his father’s Little Tokyo kamaboko business in 1955: people were not clamoring for fishcake. Quite the opposite—once a Japanese American staple, kamaboko sales were declining in the U.S. Like his father Otoichi Kawana, Frank somehow ...

Through the Fire: One Soldier’s Story

Sharon Yamato

With the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony held last week honoring the 100th Infantry, 442nd RCT and MIS in Washington, D.C., it seems appropriate to take a moment to pause and remember all those who are not here to share in the celebration. Besides the many that have died in ...

A Historic Time for Our Community: Celebrating The Congressional Gold Medal

Sharon Yamato

On a rainy Washington DC day in July 1946, President Harry S. Truman presented the Presidential Unit Citation to members of the segregated 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team with the words, “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice, and you have won.”  Now more than ...

Getting to Know Michi Nishiura Weglyn

Sharon Yamato

Like it was yesterday, I remember the first time I picked up and started to read Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps. My now-faded, coffee-stained, first-edition William Morrow copy is dated 1976, so I must have gotten it shortly after it ...

Through the Fire - Sharing Redress Stories

Sharon Yamato

The following article was written in response to The Community Day of Remembrance, an annual public program held at the Japanese American National Museum on February 16, 2008 to mark President Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, that authorized the unconstitutional forced removal of 120 ...

Japanese American National Museum Magazine

Overcoming Tragedy at Manzanar: The Story of the Sakaguchi Family

Sharon Yamato

After living in this country for thirty-four years and raising seven children, my mother, who was a schoolteacher in Japan before coming to this country, was doing stoop labor. She carried around the ashes of my brother, father, and sister for several years. When she received the government’s token ...

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Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

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