A BOOK TRAILER FOR YOKOHAMA YANKEE BY TY KELLY

NEW IN JAPANESE! Youtube slideshow/video on Yokohama Yankee
Leslie Helm interviewed by Eric Liu on “Seattle Voices” here.

Yokohama Yankee is a marvelous and eloquent work of family history (that) sheds light on the political, economic, cultural, and racial interactions and tensions between Japan and the United States for more than a century and a half, right up to the present day. This is a humane and insightful book that will be read many years from now—James Fallows, the Atlantic, author of China Airborne

A lovely, unsettling family story and a vivid traversal of modern Japanese history that will impress the jaded Japan scholar and inspire the curious general reader or memoir fan—Library Journal

More reviews of Yokohama Yankee.

Yokohama Yankee’ is a marvelous and eloquent work of family history…(it) sheds light on the political, economic, cultural, and racial interactions and tensions between Japan and the United States for more than a century and a half, right up to the present day. This is a humane and and insightful book that will be read many years from now.. James Fallows, the Atlantic, author of China Airborne

James Fallow
China Airborne

Like a sword cleaving a bittersweet fruit, Leslie Helm’s saga of his mixed-blood family in Japan cuts to the inescapable isolation of being white in a country where blood still means so much.

Yokohama Yankee

is a painfully intimate story that spans more than a century and brings the wrenching history of modern Japan into a focus that is both razor sharp and deeply human.


–Blaine Harden, author of

Escape from Camp 14

and former Tokyo bureau chief of

The Washington Post
Blaine Harden
Washington Poat

Leslie Helm has written a lively and engaging account of his remarkable family history and its intertwining with Japan. He relates the experiences of five generations from the time of his great grandfather’s arrival in Yokohama in 1869 down to the present and tells what it was like to live in Japan but still be an outsider. It is a warm and human story that will charm its readers.” —

Kenneth B. Pyle, Henry M. Jackson professor of Asian history and Asian studies, University of Washington and recipient of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun

Kenneth B. Pyle
Professor of Asian History

One of the finest correspondents to have reported on Japan, Leslie Helm tells the riveting, sometimes painful,story of his multinational, biracial merchant family. Living in Yokohama for generations in war and peace, the Helms are at the heart of Japan’s long modern history without ever actually becoming “Japanese.” —Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor in Japanese Studies, Professor of History and East Asian Studies, Princeton University

Sheldon Garon
Professor of History and East Asian Studies

Gaijin is the saga of five generations of a family of German and American immigrants in the raucous seaport of Yokohama. Leslie Helms tells with verve his fascinating family history pieced together from letters, interviews, and personal recollection. It is partly the story of racial identity as the members of the family intermix with Japanese. Author Helms confronts his own feelings as a person of mixed heritage and touchingly recounts his efforts to bond with his adopted children. Gaijin is a must read for anyone interested in Japanese history or the rearing of adopted children.


-Burritt Sabin, author of A Historical Guide to Yokohama

Burritt Sabin
Historical Guide to Yokohama

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