By David Mas Masumoto
Inaka Countryside Publications, . 241 pp.
Paperback, 1987, reprinted 1989, 1995 and 1996
In Country Voices, the reader steps into the world of Japanese American family farms, hears a people speak simple truths, and tastes the sweat and sweetness of rich harvests and life’s struggles.
Through oral histories, interviews, essays and stories, Country Voices not only describes the historical development of a rural community but also explores the cultural and spiritual growth of all its people. The ingredients of culture, land and the family come together into a moving account of a community.
You don’t have to be Japanese to enjoy and relate to topics that include – preserving ethnic traditions through food and cooking, the struggles within a community over changing religion, the evolution of a family farm and the archaic way raisins are still made, or the everyday life people experienced during the Depression or the tragic drama of evacuation of Japanese farm families during World War II.
A sense of history and culture lend in these stories and touches most of us who families were immigrants and once part of rural America. Country Voices is part of all our histories.
There are over 70 photographs, documents and drawings in Country Voices – each adds to the story and the voice of a community and people.
Praise for Country Voices
“David Mas Masumoto’s oral history is a gem. It is the story, until now, untold of the Japanese American farmers’: their dreams, their hopes, their ordeal, their resilence. Country Voices is an anthem to the human spirit.” . . . Studs Terkel