Restless Wave

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AYAKO ISHIGAKI was a pioneering Japanese American feminist and social activist. Her remarkable career included work as a transnational feminist, journalist, biographer, television personality, and activist, spanning the U.S. Continent, the Pacific Ocean, and the twentieth century.

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Restless Wave

My Life in Two Worlds
Ayako Ishigaki

Afterword by Yi-Chun Tricia Lin & Greg Robinson

Restless Wave, written under the pen name Haru Matsui, is Ayako Ishigaki's only English-language book, and is one of the first books written by a Japanese woman for Western readers. Ishigaki recalls in lyrical and evocative prose the coming of age in a privileged family and rebelling against strict codes of women's behavior. She also traces the political awakening that would force to her to flee Japan for the United States, and would eventually make her an internationally renowned activist for peace, social justice, and women's rights.

"Matsui is that most solitary of human beings, a woman who cannot conform to the patterns her people have set for a woman, and the story in her book is the story of one who never found a real place for herself because she could not retire into the pattern."

—Pearl S. Buck, author of The Good Earth

"I like the narrative quality of the text—it is perfect for an undergraduate class."

—Catherine Raissiguier, New Jersey City University

"What an extraordinary memoir this is. This story about the early life of the Issei, the Japanese immigrant who chose to come to the U.S. in the mid-1920s, as a single woman is one of the earliest of its kind. . . . A stunning afterword traces the later life of this unusual woman."

—Mitsuye Yamada, author of Camp Notes and Other Writings