Join author David Mas Masumoto and artist Patricia Wakida for the launch of their new book, “Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation, Silence, Shame, and the Resilience of a Family Farm,” on Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.
They will be joined in reading, reflection, and discussion by Sean Miura, producer and lead curator of Tuesday Night Cafe.
“I discovered a ‘lost’ aunt, separated from our family due to racism and discrimination against the disabled,” said farmer and writer Masumoto. “She had a mental disability due to childhood meningitis. She was taken away in 1942 when all Japanese Americans were considered the enemy and imprisoned. She then became a ‘ward’ of the state.
“We believed she had died, but 70 years later found her alive and living a few miles from our family farm. How did she survive? Why was she kept hidden? How did both shame and resilience empower my family to forge forward in a land that did not want them?
“I am haunted and driven to explore my identity and the meaning of family — especially as farmers tied to the land. I uncover family secrets that bind us to a sense of history buried in the earth that we work and a sense of place that defines us.”
The JANM Book Club is a series of public programs that highlight important new literary works related to Japanese American history and culture. “Secret Harvests” is available at the JANM Store.
The event is included in the price of admission ($16 general, $9 for students and seniors, free for members). To RSVP, go to: https://www.janm.org/events/2023-03-18/janm-book-club-secret-harvests-david-mas-masumoto-and-patricia-wakida
Learn more about visiting JANM at www.janm.org/visit or call (213) 625-0414.
Author’s website: www.masumoto.com
Artist’s website: www.wasabipress.com