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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China Dolls by Lisa See

Fans of best-selling author Lisa See will not be surprised by her diverse background, the source of the unique perspective readers inevitably find in each of her novels.

Born in Paris but raised and residing in Los Angeles for most of her life, she is part Chinese. Her great-great-grandfather came to the United States to work on the building of the transcontinental railroad, and her great-grandfather was the “godfather” or “patriarch” of Los Angeles’ Chinatown. About 400 members of her large Chinese American family currently live in the Los Angeles area.

Despite her appearance—red-haired and freckled—Lisa See has always been …

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Naomi Hirahara’s Murder on Bamboo Lane

Devoted readers of the Naomi Hirahara’s mystery novels might be dismayed to learn that her recently published book, Murder on Bamboo Lane, is not another installation of the Mas Arai series. However, despite their fondness for their beloved curmudgeon and reluctant detective, readers will find themselves quickly won over by Ellie Rush, the heroine of Murder on Bamboo Lane. Fear not, faithful readers. Naomi Hirahara’s latest book will satisfy the inner detective in all of you.


The protagonist of Murder on Bamboo Lane is Ellie Rush, a new recruit on the Central Division’s Bicycle Coordination Unit. Her …

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"Today’s Thought" by Norman H. Osumi

Imagine the overwhelming task of writing a book about your personal hero, mentor—and father. Imagine wanting to write this book despite having no previous writing experience. While this goal may seem impossible to most, Norman H. Osumi’s book, Today’s Thought: Rev. Paul Osumi: The Man and His Message, is the product of just such a dream.


Reverend Paul Osumi touched countless lives through “Today’s Thought,” his daily words of inspiration that appeared in The Honolulu Advertiser and Hawaii Hochi for over thirty-five years.

After the passing of both his mother and father, Norman Osumi, the reverend’s youngest son, …

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Gone to the Forest - Katie Kitamura

Three years after the release of her first novel, The Longshot, Katie Kitamura is drawing praise once again for her second novel, Gone to the Forest. Although a relatively new name in the literary world, the author has garnered acclaim from an eclectic group of reviewers. Both of her books were finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award.

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Salman Rushdie writes of the writer’s latest work:

“One thinks at times of both Coetzee and Gordimer, but Kitamura is very much her own writer, and makes you feel keenly the tragedy …

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Naomi Hirahara – Strawberry Yellow

Fans of Naomi Hirahara should prepare to turn off their cell phones and curl up in their favorite reading chair. Their most beloved detective, Mas Arai, will put his investigative skills to work once again in Hirahara’s newest novel, Strawberry Yellow.

Upon learning of his second cousin Shug’s sudden death, Mas returns to Watsonville, a small town in Northern California. Mas’ plan to make a brief appearance in his hometown to attend the funeral is quickly thwarted when Minnie, Shug’s widow, shares her suspicions that Shug was murdered and pleads with Mas to extend his stay. Unable to refuse, …

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