Taro Yashima

Name Taro Yashima
Born September 21 1908
Died June 30 1994
Birth Location Kagoshima, Japan
Generational Identifier


Author and illustrator. Taro Yashima (1908–1994) was an artist and award winning illustrator best known for his beautifully illustrated children's books. Active in leftist circles in Japan, he and his wife left Japan fearing political repression in 1939, ending up in New York City. During World War II, he worked for the Office of War Information and Office of Strategic Services, producing propaganda leaflets. He published the autobiographical volumes The New Sun (1943) and Horizon Is Calling (1947) describing his life as an artist in Japan and his and his family's escape to the U.S.; both tell their stories through drawings with short captions. Written initially for his young daughter Momo, he became an acclaimed writer and illustrator of children's books; three of his books became Caldecott Honor Books. He and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1954, where he continued his work as a painter and art teacher.

For More Information

Shibusawa, Naoko. "'The Artist Belongs to the People.': The Odyssey of Taro Yashima." Journal of Asian American Studies 8.3 (Oct. 2005): 257–75.

Yashima, Taro. The New Sun . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1943.

--- Horizon Is Calling . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1947.

finding aid to the Taro Yashima collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/degrum/public_html/html/research/findaids/yashima.htm

Children's books by Taro Yashima

The Village Tree (New York: Viking Press, 1953)

Plenty to Watch (with Mitsu Yashima) (New York: Viking Press, 1954)

Crow Boy (New York: Viking Press, 1955)

Umbrella (New York: Viking Press, 1958)

Momo's Kitten (with Mitsu Yashmia) (New York: Viking Press, 1961)

Youngest One (New York: Viking Press, 1962)

Seashore Story (New York: Viking Press, 1967)

Last updated April 1, 2014, 5:42 p.m..