Toshi Washizu

Born in Shizuoka, Japan, at the foot of Mount Fuji, Toshi Washizu never climbed his native country’s highest peak. Instead, in his youth, he crossed the ocean to America. He became a filmmaker and for decades produced award-winning documentary films. His movies include Bone, Flesh, Skin; Mr. Oh: a Korean Calligrapher, and Issei: The First Generation.

“As a filmmaker, I looked at the world through the camera. Perhaps poetry is another way of looking at our world and trying to make sense of it,” says Washizu.

Washizu’s poems and essays have appeared in the poetry anthologies The Chalk Circle; Sunrise from Blue Thunder; Family Matters; In Other Words; Forum; Poets 11; San Francisco Peace and Hope; Noe Valley Voice; and The Walrus.

Updated February 2017

culture en

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column


This month we feature Suma Yagi, an 89-year-old Nisei based in Seattle whose family was sent to Minidoka during World War II, and Toshi Washizu, a filmmaker originally from Japan who is now based in San Francisco. In light of the commemoration of Executive Order 9066 and the 75th anniversary since its signing on February 19, 1942, their poems are somewhat sobering reads in the context of 2017 and all the reasons we look back in order to take stock of the present and look ahead to the kind of “homeland” we wish to create for our communities. The theme of “homeland” asks…

Read more

Series this author contributes to