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Voices From the Gaps
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Yushiko Uchida

Through my book I hope to give young Asian Americans a sense of their past and to reinforce their self-esteem and self-knowledge. At the same time, I want to dispel the stereotypic image still held by many non-Asians about the Japanese and write about them as real people. I hope to convey the strength of spirit and the sense of hope and purpose I have observed in many first-generation Japanese. Beyond that, I write to celebrate our common humanity and the basic elements of humanity that are in all our strivings

Biography / Criticism

Yoshkio Uchida was born in 1921, in Alameda, California. Her parents immigrated from Japan, settling in America to raise her family. Her father, a business man and her mother instilled the love of reading books and poetry in her. Yoshiko loved America and had no idea she was different from her friends, until elementary school. It was here she realized how much she stood out from her predominantly white classmates. However, she fully realized how separate she was from her country when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred. It was at this time her father was sent away to an internment camp under suspicion he was involved with the bombing. Yoshiko's family went many hardships, but Yoshkio managed to graduate high school in two and a half years, and became a sixteen-year-old freshman at the University of California.
Despite her academic success, Yoshiko and her family soon joined her father in an internment camp. Here she discovered her love for education and was able to get a job teaching the children. While in the internment camp she passed time by reflecting about her life in her journals. 
After a year Yoshiko was given the opportunity to become free, but was forced to leave her parents behind. She was accepted for graduate courses in the Education Department at Smith's College in Brooklyn, New York. Upon completion of her degree Yoshiko became a teacher for a few years. She decided that her Japanese culture and experiences were more a part of her than she realized and thus began to concentrate on teaching a younger generation by becoming and author of children's stories. It is her hope that she will help Americans understand the Japanese culture so that internment camps never happen again. Along with understanding, Yoshiko Uchida hopes to instill pride in the culture she holds dear to her heart.

Selected Bibliography

Works by the Author

Childrens Books

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction

Other Works

Related Links

LS540:Multicultural Library Services and Sources
A very informative site including in depth information about Yoshiko Uchida's past.

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Contributors

This page was researched and submitted by: Jacquelyn Donna Johnson, Jennifer Anne Hunt, and Jennifer Ann Maurer.