The Japan America Society of Southern California presents a talk by Leslie Helm, author of “Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan,” on Friday, April 19, from 12 to 2 p.m. at The Japan Foundation Los Angeles, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles.

The book brings to life the author’s family history and illustrates the tensions in U.S.-Japan relations through his family’s search for identity.

Helm’s decision to adopt Japanese children launches him on a personal journey through his family’s 140 years in Japan, beginning with his great-grandfather, who worked as a military advisor in 1870 and defied custom to marry his Japanese mistress. The family’s poignant experiences of love and war help Helm overcome his cynicism and embrace his Japanese and American heritage.

Helm is a veteran reporter and editor with more than 20 years of experience working for local and national publications. He is currently the editor of Seattle Business, a monthly magazine. He began his career with Business Week, reporting for the magazine first as Tokyo correspondent and later as Boston bureau chief. He returned to Tokyo to cover Japan and Korea as correspondent for The Los Angeles Times before moving to Seattle for The Times to cover business in the Northwest.

He earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism and also has a BA in political science and an MA in Asian studies from UC Berkeley. Helm was born and raised in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese.

Admission is free. Optional Japanese obento for lunch is $11. RSVP by Wednesday, April 17. For more information, go to

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