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Presented By: Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies

NOBUKO MIYAMOTO

Not Yo' Butterfly

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The Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program in the Department of American Culture presents

NOBUKO MIYAMOTO
- dance and theater artist -
- Asian American Movement activist -
- songwriter and author of
Not Yo' Butterfly:
My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love, and Revolution

in conversation with
Prof. Emily P. Lawsin
ASIANPAM/AMCULT 353/HISTORY 454: Asians in American Film and Television course
in commemoration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

REGISTER for Zoom Link: tinyurl.com/NobukoWebinar


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Not Yo' Butterfly
My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love, and Revolution

By NOBUKO MIYAMOTO
(University of California Press, 2021)

www.ucpress.edu/9780520380653

A mold-breaking memoir of Asian American identity, political activism, community, and purpose.
Not Yo’ Butterfly is the intimate and unflinching life story of Nobuko Miyamoto—artist, activist, and mother. Beginning with the harrowing early years of her life as a Japanese American child navigating a fearful west coast during World War II, Miyamoto leads readers into the landscapes that defined the experiences of twentieth-century America and also foregrounds the struggles of people of color who reclaimed their histories, identities, and power through activism and art.
Miyamoto vividly describes her early life in the racialized atmosphere of Hollywood musicals and then her turn toward activism as an Asian American troubadour with the release of A Grain of Sand—considered to be the first Asian American folk album. Her narrative intersects with the stories of Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs, influential in both Asian and Black liberation movements. She tells how her experience of motherhood with an Afro-Asian son, as well as a marriage that intertwined Black and Japanese families and communities, placed her at the nexus of the 1992 Rodney King riots—and how she used art to create interracial solidarity and conciliation.
Through it all, Miyamoto has embraced her identity as an Asian American woman to create an antiracist body of work and a blueprint for empathy and praxis through community art. Her sometimes barbed, often provocative, and always steadfast story is now told.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nobuko Miyamoto is a third-generation Japanese American songwriter, dance and theater artist, and activist, and is the Artistic Director of Great Leap. Her work has explored ways to reclaim and decolonize our minds, bodies, histories, and communities, using the arts to create social change and solidarity across cultural borders. Two of Nobuko’s albums are part of the Smithsonian Folkways catalog: A Grain of Sand, with Chris Iijima and Charlie Chin, produced by Paredon Records in 1973, and 120,000 Stories, released by Smithsonian Folkways in 2021.

ABOUT THE ALBUM:
120,000 Stories
Nobuko Miyamoto
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2021.
https://folkways.si.edu/nobuko-miyamoto/120000-stories?mc_cid=e752c698a4&mc_eid=4d22403658

Nobuko Miyamoto is an icon of Asian American music and activism. Since the early 1970s, she has been exploring ways to reclaim and respirit our minds, bodies, histories, and communities, using the arts to create social change and forge solidarity. 120,000 Stories collects powerful new songs, reinterpretations of old ones, and recordings from across her career, including from the seminal 1973 album A Grain of Sand and the band Warriors of the Rainbow. These songs speak to past and present struggles—for self-determination, Black Lives, the environment. They chronicle difficult histories, they celebrate resilient traditions, and most of all, they endeavor to connect communities.
www.nobukomiyamoto.org
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