Wakako Yamauchi

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Wakako Yamauchi
Born 1924
Westmorland, California
Nationality USA
Genre drama
Notable works And the Soul Shall Dance
The Music Lessons
Notable awards Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award (1977)

Wakako Yamauchi (born 1924) is a Nisei Asian American female writer. Her plays are considered pioneering works in Asian American theatre.


Wakako Yamauchi was born in Westmorland, California. Her mother and father, both Issei, or first-generation immigrants from Japan, were farmers in California's Imperial Valley. Many of her stories and her two plays, And the Soul Shall Dance and The Music Lessons, are set in the same dusty, isolated settings. In 1942, Yamauchi and her family were interned at the concentration camp in Poston, Arizona. Her first play, And the Soul Shall Dance, adapted from her short story of the same title, was first performed at the East West Players in Los Angeles and won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best new play of 1977. It was produced for public television".[1] She is the author of the play "12-1-A", the title a reference to her family's address in an internment camp where the Nikkei characters were detained during World War II.

A collection of her plays and stories has been published under the title Songs My Mother Taught Me.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wong, Shawn. Asian American Literature. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

Scholarly studies[edit]

The following articles are listed in the MLA database and are arranged from most recent to oldest:

  • "Wakako Yamauchi" By: Jew, Kimberly M.. pp. 343–47 IN: Madsen, Deborah L. (ed. and introd.); Asian American Writers. Detroit, MI: Gale; 2005.
  • "'A Few Footprints of Our Sojourn Here': A Conversation with Wakako Yamauchi" By: Clem, Billy. pp. 313–29 IN: Alonso Gallo, Laura P. (ed. and introd.); Voces de América/American Voices: Entrevistas a escritores americanos/Interviews with American Writers. Cádiz, Spain: Aduana Vieja; 2004.
  • Luce Irigaray's Choreography with Sex and Race By: Mori, Kaori; Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2002 July; 63 (1): 189. State U of New York, Buffalo, 2002. (examines And the Soul Shall Dance)
  • "And the Soul Shall Dance by Wakako Yamauchi" By: Sumida, Stephen H.. pp. 221–32 IN: Wong, Sau-ling Cynthia (ed. and introd.); Sumida, Stephen H. (ed. and introd.); A Resource Guide to Asian American Literature. New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America; 2001.
  • "Jungian and Mythological Patterns in Wakako Yamauchi's And the Soul Shall Dance" By: Osumi, M. Dick; Amerasia Journal, 2001; 27 (1): 87-96.
  • "'Nostalgia' or 'Newness': Nihon Buyo in the United States" By: Sellers-Young, Barbara; Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 2001; 12 (1 [23]): 135-49.
  • "The Politics of Re-Narrating History as Gendered War: Asian American Women's Theater" By: Hara, Eriko; Journal of American and Canadian Studies, 2000; 18: 37-49.
  • "Hisaye Yamamoto and Wakako Yamauchi" By: Cheung, King-Kok. pp. 343–82 IN: Cheung, King-Kok (ed. and introd.); Words Matter: Conversations with Asian American Writers. Honolulu, HI: U of Hawaii P, with UCLA Asian American Studies Center; 2000.
  • "A MELUS Interview: Wakako Yamauchi" By: Osborn, William P.; MELUS, 1998 Summer; 23 (2): 101-10. online
  • The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women By: Houston, Velina Hasu (ed.). Philadelphia: Temple UP; 1993. (contains Yamauchi's plays The Chairman's Wife and 12-1-A)
  • "Rebels and Heroines: Subversive Narratives in the Stories of Wakako Yamauchi and Hisaye Yamamoto" By: Yogi, Stan. pp. 131–50 IN: Lim, Shirley Geok-lin (ed. & introd.); Ling, Amy (ed. & introd.); Kim, Elaine H. (fwd.); Reading the Literatures of Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple UP; 1992.
  • "Relocation and Dislocation: The Writings of Hisaye Yamamoto and Wakako Yamauchi" By: McDonald, Dorothy Ritsuko; MELUS, 1980 Fall; 7 (3): 21-38.

External links[edit]