Where do stories come from? Stories come from many places. Some come straight from the author's imagination. Others come from real life events. Some stories are a combination of both. For Japanese American author Yoshiko Uchida, history was her greatest inspiration. She didn't write history books, though. She wrote about people. She hoped that the stories she wrote would help people to see that all people, no matter what their race or beliefs, are human beings.
Yoshiko Uchida was born in 1921. She and her sister were the first of her family born in the United States. Yoshiko's parents grew up in Japan. Her father was offered a job in California many years before Yoshiko was born. He was young and liked the idea of moving to a new place. He accepted the job.
The Uchida family had a happy life in California. Yoshiko was a very smart girl. She graduated from high school when she was only sixteen! Then, she enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley. On December 7, 1941, Yoshiko was in the middle of her senior year. World War II was going on and there was an attack on a naval base in Hawaii. The name of the base was Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attacked it. On that day, Yoshiko's life changed forever. She was not the only one, though. The life of every Japanese American changed on that day.