The Adventures of Fuzzy and Buzzy $12.95$22.95
My Family Tree Has Roots $13.95
written by Chiemi Souen
illustrated by Flor Kaneshiro

Inspired by a true story, a young boy overcomes self-doubt to realize his dream of sharing the traditional Okinawan art of uta-sanshin with the world.

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Meet the Author

Chiemi Souen writes to give a voice to Okinawan-American descendants of contract sugar plantation workers who immigrated from Okinawa in the early 1900s and remain faceless in literature to this day.

Born in Torrance, California, and raised in Honolulu, Souen earned her bachelor’s degree in Japanese language and literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1995. In 1998, she received the Okinawa Prefectural Government Scholarship to attend the University of the Ryukyus, where she studied Okinawan language and women’s studies. She is also a member of Ryukyu Koten Afuso Ryu Choichi Kai USA/Hawai‘i, an Okinawan classical music academy.

She is currently the editor of The Hawai‘i Herald, Hawai‘i’s Japanese American Journal.

Press Kit

Details

Formats:  Hardcover, Paperback

Pages:  40

ISBN HC: 978-1-953021-14-4

ISBN PB: 978-1-953021-15-1

Release Date: 8/17/2021

Meet the Illustrator

Flor Kaneshiro is an Argentinian illustrator. Born in La Plata in 1983, Flor is nikkei, a third generation Uchinaanchu (Okinawan). She earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the National University of La Plata and studied in traditional arts at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Japan, where she was awarded a grant by the Okinawa prefectural government and the Okinawan Center of Argentina. Currently, she is a teacher at an art school in Junin de los Andes and San Martin de los Andes, Neuquén.

Praise

“A soft but not silenced voice resounds in poetic words, built phrase by phrase about a people and place beloved of Chiemi Souen. Okinawa, Mother—shown to us all through the eyes of the writer—is invisible no longer within the Asian-American diaspora. My sister poet is of her homelands, Hawaiʻi and Okinawa. Written and heard.”

—Lois-Ann Yamanaka, author of Behold the Many

 

“Brilliant work! Chiemi Souen has taken the life-affirming concepts of life purpose and joy and woven them into an engaging read that is as relatable as it is unique. Her story brings awareness to not only the Okinawan culture, but to the importance of loving what you do and not giving up. A must-read for anyone who needs a spark of light to catalyze joy and new awareness within their spirit. The illustrations are beyond perfect and add depth and magic to the story.”

—Alice Inoue, author, columnist, and Happiness U founder

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