Ruth Sasaki

Ruth Sasaki is a writer, born and raised in San Francisco after the war. Her mother’s family (the Takahashis) was incarcerated in Tanforan and Topaz. Her short story “The Loom” won the American Japanese National Literary Award, and her collection, The Loom and Other Stories, was published in 1991 by Graywolf Press. Her stories have been featured on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” She is currently the curator and editor of the Topaz Stories project (through Friends of Topaz), and a consulting editor for She writes about Japanese-American experience, growing up in San Francisco, writing, and her years in Japan on her website, 

Updated July 2019

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The Oda Boys

Sometime around 1932, Bachan went to the funeral of a family friend in Suisun with a big plate of homemade sushi and came home with three boys.

Their father had been a family friend in Wakayama, and when he first came to the U.S., he had stayed at “Pine” (the Takahashi home on Pine Street in San Francisco) en route to a job in California’s Delta. He had married late like many Issei, but his wife had died some time ago and so it was just Oda-san and the three boys: Henry, Eddie, and Harry.

Now Oda-san was ...

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