Valerie Matsumoto with members of the Atomettes, one of the Nisei clubs she wrote about in “City Girls.” From left: Sadie Hifumi, Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, Matsumoto, Vicki Mittwer Littman, Rose Honda (foreground), and Kathi Yamazaki. (Courtesy of UCLA Media Relations)

Dr. Valerie Matsumoto will speak on her book “City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950” at a public form on Sunday, May 3, at 1 p.m. at West LA United Methodist Church.

Her presentation will describe how Nisei girls’ clubs provided a social network and stability in the midst of racial discrimination, the upheavals of internment during World War II, and postwar resettlement in Los Angeles.

Matsumoto’s book features members of West LA United Methodist Church who established and participated in the Atomettes Girls Club, including Rose Honda, Sadie Hifumi, Kathi Yamazaki, and the late Mary Ishizuka.

Matsumoto is professor of history and Asian American studies at UCLA. She has done extensive research on the Japanese American community in Los Angeles and, in particular, the Sawtelle/West Los Angeles neighborhood. Her presentation will include historical photos of the girls’ clubs.

West LA United Methodist invited Matsumoto to speak as a part of its ongoing adult education programs on the history and culture of Japanese Americans in Los Angeles.

The public is invited to attend this free presentation in the church sanctuary. West LA United Methodist is located at 1913 Purdue Ave. A reception and book-signing will follow the talk. For more information, call (310) 479-1379 or email

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