Mitsuye Yamada

Mitsuye Yamada

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Mitsuye Yamada

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Mitsuye Yamada (born July 5, 1923) is a Japanese American activist, feminist, essayist, poet, story writer, editor, and former professor of English.

Early and personal life

Mitsuye Yamada was born as Mitsuye Yasutake in Fukuoka, Japan. Her parents were Jack Kaichiro Yasutake and Hide Shiraki Yasutake, both first-generation Japanese Americans (Issei) who were visiting Japan when she was born. Her older brother, Seiichi Yasutake (known as "Mike") was born in the US. Her family returned to the U.S. in 1926 and settled in Seattle, Washington.

Jack Yasutake was the founder and president of the Senryu (Japanese poet) Society in Seattle and an interpreter for the U.S. Immigration Service during World War II. At the time, Japanese society did not offer the opportunity to women to decide how to live their lives; they were unable to obtain higher education or choose a husband on their own. Yamada's own ordeal during World War II and observations of her mother's way of life bring anti-racist and feminist attitudes to her works.

Yamada spent most of her childhood and youth in Seattle, Washington.Jaskoski, Helen. "A MELUS Interview : Mitsuye Yamada. " MELUS 15 (1988):97-108. Los Angeles: Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United...
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