Pictured at a 2018 reunion of Pacific Asian American Women Writers West at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute are: (front row, from left) Jude Narita, Joyce Nako, Amy Uyematsu; (back row, from left) Diane Ujiiye, Miya Iwataki, Cecilia Brainard. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The Japanese American National Museum posted the following tribute to Amy Uyematsu, who passed away on June 23 at age 75.


We mourn the passing of Japanese American poet and activist Amy Uyematsu.

Amy Uyematsu was a Sansei poet and teacher from Los Angeles. She has six published collections, including “That Blue Trickster Time.” Her first poetry collection, “30 Miles from J-Town,” won the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize.

Active in Asian American studies when it first emerged in the late ’60s, she was co-editor of the widely used UCLA anthology, “Roots: An Asian American Reader.” Her essay “The Emergence of Yellow Power in America” (1969) has appeared in numerous publications.

Amy was a poetry editor of “Greenmakers: Japanese American Gardeners in Southern California” (2000). In 2012 Amy was recognized by the Friends of the Little Tokyo Branch Library for her writing contributions to the Japanese American community.

Amy taught high school math for L.A. Unified Schools for 32 years. She also taught creative writing classes for the Little Tokyo Service Center. Amy Uyematsu was a frequent contributor to JANM’s Discover Nikkei project. Read some of her work here: https://discovernikkei.org/en/journal/author/uyematsu-amy/

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