Leslie Yamaguchi

Leslie Yamaguchi is a High School English teacher in Southern California. She is a volunteer for the Japanese American National Museum where she writes articles for the Museum Store Online and helps out with book sales at public programs.

Updated November 2007

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii - Frances H. Kakugawa

Mount Vesuvius, Krakatoa, Mount St. Helens—these are the names that come to mind when most of us think of volcanoes. In her most recent book, Kapoho, Memoir of a Modern Pompeii, Frances Kakugawa makes readers outside of Hawaii aware of another volcano—Kilauea—and shares her recollections of Kapoho, Hawaii, the place of her birth and the town ultimately destroyed by Kilauea. Through her writing, Ms. Kakugawa succeeds in keeping alive the most important thing that could be salvaged from the destructive path of the volcano—cherished memories of Kapoho.

Kapoho, Memoir of a Modern Pompeii is a collection ...

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Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

In her second published novel, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, Kristina McMorris displays her incredible talents as both a writer and historian. The author introduces readers to Maddie Kern, an accomplished violinist with aspirations of studying at Julliard. When Maddie falls in love with and eventually marries Lane Moritomo, a Japanese American and her brother’s best friend since childhood, their relationship is tested by the disapproval of their families, friends, and society in general.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans are suddenly viewed with suspicion, hostility, and, in some cases, hateful violence, despite their citizenship as Americans. When ...

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How to Be an American Housewife

Readers may not know what to expect from a novel titled How to Be an American Housewife. Is it actually a novel or a guidebook for American homemakers?

By glancing through “20 Random Things” on author Margaret Dilloway’s website, curious readers will find that the author has a degree in art, severe allergic reactions to grasses, dust, and pollen, and an aversion to handling bacon. She grew up in San Diego, California, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an American father. Although she majored in Studio Art at Scripps College, she claims that she has not “made art ...

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Hanafuda Hawaii: Helen Nakano Brings Generations Together

One look at the website, HanafudaHawaii.com, makes it evident that Helen Nakano is an ambassador with a grand vision in mind. “The mission of Hanafuda Hawaii is to bring generations a little closer.” During plantation times, she explained, families throughout the islands played Hanafuda. Today, however, ways for the young and old to connect are far fewer.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii of Issei parents from Hiroshima, Japan, Nakano has seen a great deal of the world. Married to a now retired Air Force colonel, she and their family of three children have lived in Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom ...

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat

Anyone who has been in a Japanese gift store has probably seen the adorable beckoning cat called Maneki Neko with its wide eyes and raised, waving paw. Many look upon these statues as loveable collectibles without ever being aware of the legend behind the iconic cats and why they are known for the good fortune they bring.

Susan Lendroth, author of Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat, presents her own version of the folk tale without tampering with its traditional elements. Maneki Neko is essentially a children’s picture book, but its pages consist of so much more ...

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