Hisaye Yamamoto was a renowned American author known for her short stories. One of her notable works is; ‘Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories”. Her work depicts the experiences of Japanese Americans in the United States, the gap between first and second-generation immigrants, and the difficulties women face in society.

    On May 03, 2021, Google paid tribute to the Japanese American author with a new Doodle. Now, the matter under consideration is , why  was Hisaye Yamamoto so popular? Why did Google honor American author Hisaye Yamamoto? 

    Keep reading this article to get answers to these questions and discover more about her life!

    Who was Hisaye Yamamoto?

    Hisaye Yamamoto was born on August 23, 1921, in California. She was a famous American author because her writings motivated the readers with honesty and beauty.

    What is Issei and Nisei?

    Hisaye Yamamoto was the daughter of the Issei( first generation) parents. Issei is used for those born in Japan, and the Nisei term is used when their children are born in a new country.

    Hisaye Yamamoto was the second generation of Japanese Americans known as Nisei. She was raised in a white community.

    Hisaye Yamamoto

    Below is the personal information of Hisaye Yamamoto; let’s look at it.

    Original Name

    Hisaye Yamamoto

    Date of Birth

    August 23, 1921

    Born Place

    Redondo Beach, California


    89 years




    Short story


    Anthony DeSoto

    Famous Works

    Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories

    The Legend of Miss Sasagawara


    American Book Award

    Lifetime Achievement

    Date Of Death

    January 30, 2011

    Early Years and Yamamoto’s Career as a Writer

    Hisaye Yamamoto grew up in a family of Japanese immigrants in California. She experienced extreme discrimination, racism, and biasedness from the white community due to her Japanese inheritance.

    At a very young age, Yamamoto had a profound interest in reading and writing. She studied French, German, Latin, and Spanish at Compton Junior College, where her teacher motivated her to continue writing, and she received an Associate of Arts degree.

    Beginning of Literary career

    Hisaye Yamamoto’s Literary career began when she started writing for a Japanese American Newspaper named Kashu Mainichi in the 1940s.

    World War ||

    At age 20, Yamamoto and her family were imprisoned at United States government prison camp in Poston, Arizona.

     Hisaye Yamamoto began writing Articles from the Camp Newspaper, the Poston Chronicle, to stay active. Moreover, she published her first work of fiction, “Death Rides the Rails to Poston,” a mystery added in “Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories.”

    Yamamoto went to work in Springfield, Massachusetts, but returned shortly after her brother’s death, who died while fighting with the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy.

    Hisaye Yamamoto spent three years at the Poston Camp, and these three years’ impact was reflected in Yamamoto’s writings.

    Postwar Years

    In 1945, World War || came to an end. Yamamoto and her family moved to Los Angeles after releasing from camp. She started working in the Newspaper named Los Angeles Tribune. She worked at first as a columnist and then as a field reporter and editor for this weekly Newspaper.

    First Published Short Story of Hisaye Yamamoto

    In 1948, the first short story, “The High–Heeled Shoes” by Hisye Yamamoto, was published and got a great response from critics and readers.

    Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories

    One of the most notable works of Hisaye is “Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories.” It is the story of a Japanese American woman and her teenage daughter. 

    Through this unique structure, Yamamoto highlights the conflict between the mother and daughter, who struggle to bridge the gap between their distinct cultural differences.

    Marriage of Hisaye Yamamoto

    In 1948, Yamamoto got married to Anthony DeSoto. He was a talented Asian American writer and journalist. Anthony had a significant impact on Yamamoto’s writing. Both of them collaborated on various projects.

    Writing Style of Hisaye Yamamoto

    Yamamoto’s writing style is sensitive, sincere, heartfelt, delicate, direct, and economical. Her style honors her Japanese heritage and makes it appealing to modern readers.

    List of Popular Stories of Hisaye Yamamoto

    Below is the list of famous stories written by Hisaye Yamamoto

    • The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir (1948)
    • Seventeen Syllables (1949)
    • The Legend of Miss Sasagawara (1950)
    • Wilshire Bus (1950)
    • The Brown House (1951)
    • Yoneko’s Earthquake (1951)
    • Morning Rain (1952)
    • Epithalamium (1960)
    • Las Vegas Charley (1961)
    • Life Among the Oil Fields, A memoir (1979)
    • The Eskimo Connection (1983)
    • My Father Can Beat Muhammad Ali (1986)
    • Underground Lady (1986)

    Awards of Hisaye Yamamoto

    Hisaye was a famous Japanese American author. She was the first Asian American woman to receive after-water National Literary recognition.

    Hisaye Yamamoto

    Awards and Fellowships

    Below is the list of awards given to Hisaye Yamamoto to acknowledge her work

    • Asian American Writers Workshop’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
    • PEN Oakland/ Josephine Miles Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement ( 1998)
    • Creative Arts Award in Literature from the Japanese American National Museum (1994)
    • Association for Asian American Studies Award for Literature for Seventeen Syllables (1988)
    •  Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement (1986)
    •  The National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1976)
    •  ohn Hay Whitney Foundation Opportunity Fellowship ( 1950-51)

    Google honors Hisaye Yamamoto with a Doodle.

    Google paid tribute to a renowned Japanese American author on their homepage on May 03, 2021.

    Hisaye Yamamoto’s Cause of Death

    How did she die? Hisaye passed away at the age of 89 years in Los Angeles on January 30, 2011. She fell ill because of a stroke attack in 2010. However, the cause of death is natural.

    Hisaye Yamamoto’s writing depicts the experiences of Japanese Americans in the United States and the resilience and endurance of those who have struggled to find a place in a country that has not owned them.


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