Toshio Mori

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Toshio Mori
Toshio Mori photo by Nancy Wong.jpg
Occupation Author

Toshio Mori (1910–1980) is an American author, best known for being one of the earliest (perhaps even the first[1] ) Japanese American writers to publish a book of fiction.


Mori was born in Oakland, California and grew up in San Leandro. During World War II, he and his family were interned at Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah, where Mori edited the journal Trek for a year. After the war, Mori returned to the Bay Area where he continued to write. He is the author of Yokohama, California (1949), The Chauvinist and Other Stories (1979), and The Woman from Hiroshima (1980). Mori worked most of his adult life in a small family nursery.


Primary sources[edit]

  • Mori, Toshio. New Directions in Prose & Poetry. Ed. James Laughlin. Middlebury, VT, Otter Valley Press, 1938.
  • Yokohama, California, ID: The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1949. Intro. by William Saroyan.
  • “Tomorrow is Coming, Children” Trek. Eds. Jim Yamada, Taro Katayama, and Marii Kyogoku. Topaz Internment Camp, Utah. 1.1 and 1.2 (Christmas 1942/1943): 13-16.
  • “The Woman Who Makes Swell Doughnuts.” Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers. Ed. Lawson Fusao Inada, et al.. Washington D.C., 1974. 123.
  • Woman from Hiroshima. San Jose, CA: Isthmus Press, 1979.
  • The Chauvinist and Other Stories. Los Angeles: Asian American Studies Center of University of California, Los Angeles, 1979.
  • Yokohama, California. 2nd ed., Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985. New intro. by Lawson Fusao Inada.
  • “Japanese Hamlet.” Imagining America: stories from the promised land. Ed. by Wesley Brown & Amy Ling. New York : Persea Books, 1991. 125-127.
  • “The Chauvinist.” Charlie Chan is dead: an anthology of contemporary Asian American Fiction. Ed. by Jessica Hagedorn. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books, 1993. 328-337.
  • “Through Anger and Love.” Growing up Asian American, An Anthology. Ed. by Maria Hong. New York: W. Morrow, 1993. 53-64.

Unpublished Novels

  • Send These the Homeless (written in Topaz camp in 1942)
  • The Brothers Murata (original title “Peace Be Still” completed 1944)
  • Way of Life (written during the 1960s)

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Barnhart, Sarah Catlin. “Toshio Mori (1910-1980)” Asian American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood; 2000. 234-39
  • Bedrosian, Margaret. “Toshio Mori’s California Koans.” MELUS: 15.2 (1988): 47-55.
  • Hassell, Malve von. Ethnography, Storytelling and the Fiction of Toshio Mori. Dialectical Anthropology, 1994; 19.4: 401-18.
  • Palomino, Harue. Japanese Americans in Books or in Reality? Three Writers for Young Adults Who Tell a Different Story. “How Much Truth Do We Tell the Children? The Politics of Children's Literature.” Ed. Betty Bacon. Minneapolis: Marxist Educational Press; 1988. 257.
  • Mayer, David R. “Akegarasu and Emerson: Kindred Spirits of Toshio Mori’s “The Seventh Street Philosopher.” Amerasia Journal, 1990; 16.2: 1-10.
  • The Philosopher in Search of a Voice: Toshio Mori’s Japanese-Influenced Narrator. AALA Journal, 1995; 2: 12-24.
  • “The Short Stories of Toshio Mori.” Fu Jen Studies: Literature and Linguistics, 1988; 21: 73-87.
  • “Toshio Mori and Loneliness.” Nanzan Review of American Studies 15 (1993): 20-32.
  • “Toshio Mori’s Neighborhood Settings: Inner and Outer Oakland.” Fu Jen Studies: Literature and Linguistics, 1990; 23: 100-115.
  • “Toshio Mori's '1936': A True and a False Prophecy.” Academia: Bungaku Gogaku Hen/Literature and Language, 1999 Sept; 67: 69-81.
  • “Can't See the Forest: Buddhism in Toshio Mori's 'The Trees.” Academia: Bungaku Gogaku Hen/Literature and Language, 2002 Jan; 71: 125-36.
  • Palumbo Liu, David. “Universalisms and Minority Culture.” Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 7.1 (1995): 188-208.
  • Sato, Gayle K. “(Self) Indulgent Listening: Reading Cultural Difference in Yokohama, California.” Japanese Journal of American Studies, 2000; 11: 129-46.
  • Sledge, Linda Ching. “Reviewed Work(s): The Chauvinist and Other Stories by Toshio Mori.” MELUS 7.1 (Spring 1980): 86-90.
  • Wakida, Patricia. “Unfinished Message” Selected Works of Toshio Mori. The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (RALPH). Volume XXIV.2 (Spring, 2001).

External links[edit]

Short radio episode Baseball from the chapter "Lil' Yokohama," in Unfinished Message. California Legacy Project.


  1. ^ Hicks, Jack (2000). "Toshio Mori". The Literature of California: Native American beginnings to 1945. U of California P. p. 583. ISBN 978-0-520-22212-0.