Author Mitsuyo Iriye will meet and greet readers during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the USC campus at the Kinokuniya Bookstores of America booth (No. 84) on Saturday, April 20, from 5 to 6 p.m.

A resident of Marina del Rey, Iriye loves children, animals, and art. While in her 20s, she trained at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, and she has continued drawing and painting throughout her busy life as a wife and mother after she immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1970s.

Mitsuyo Iriye

About four years ago, when Iriye began living with her daughter’s family to help take care of her granddaughter, Saya, she also started taking care of their dog, Sumi. The black lab mix was a constant companion to Iriye during the mornings and afternoons when she would go for walks with Saya or play with her at home.

When Sumi passed away due to old age in 2009, Iriye decided to draw and paint pictures of her favorite memories of her granddaughter and her loving friend, and was then inspired to create a book of those paintings — “Saya & Sumi.” The simple storybook is filled with paintings of Saya and Sumi walking on the beach, playing with bubbles, or napping together.

Iriye’s favorite painting is of her, Saya and Sumi walking on the beach because “we were so happy.” Sometimes, those morning walks on the beach would cause Saya to be late to preschool, but Iriye knew it was a special time that could not, and should not, be rushed.

“Saya & Sumi” can be purchased at Kinokuniya in Little Tokyo or through Heritage Source or Amazon. 

For more information on the Festival of Books, which will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit

Kinokuniya Booth Schedule

Saturday, April 20

10:30-11:46 a.m.: Sunny Seki (“The Tale of the Lucky Cat,” “The Last Kappa of Old Japan,” “Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll”)

11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Naomi Hirahara (“Summer of the Big Bachi,” “Gasa-gasa Girl,” “Snakeskin Shamisen,” “Blood Hina,” “Strawberry Yellow”)

12-1:30 p.m.: Amy Chavez (“Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage”)

1:30-3 p.m.: William Marotti (“Money Trains and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan”)

2-3 p.m.: Naomi Hirahara

3-4 p.m.: Kendall Brown (“Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America,” “Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco,” “Dangerous Beauties and Dutiful Wives: Popular Portraits of Women in Japan, 1905-1925,” “Japanese Warriors, Rogues and Beauties: Woodblocks from Adventure Stories”); Katherine Yungmee Kim (“Los Angeles’s Koreatown”)

4-5 p.m.: Timothy Hallinan (“Crashed,” “Little Elvises,” “A Nail Through the Heart: A Novel of Bangkok,” “The Fear Artist,” “The Queen of Patpong”); Wendy Watson (“Personality and Blood Type: A Guide to Love, Work and Friendship”)

4-6 p.m.: Mitsuyo Iriye (“Saya & Sumi”)

Sunday, April 21

10-11:30 a.m.: Setsu Broderick (“Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri,” “Cats Rule,” “Dogs Rule”); Charles Scott (“Rising Son: A Father and Son’s Bike Adventure Across Japan”)

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Scott Robertson (“Blast: Spaceship Sketches and Renderings,” “Drive: Vehicle Sketches and Renderings,” “Lift Off: Air Vehicle Sketches and Renderings from the Drawthrough Collection”); Dylan Cole (“The Otherworldly Adventures of Tyler Washburn: The New Kid”)

1-2:30 p.m.: Fuminori Nakamura (“The Thief,” “Evil and the Mask”)

2:30-4 p.m.: Marcos Mateu-Mestre (“Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers,” “Trail of Steel: 1441 A.D.”)

3-4 p.m.: Lisa See (“Dreams of Joy,” “Peony in Love,” “Shanghai Girls,” “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” “On Gold Mountain,” “Dragon Bones”)

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