Manzanar to Mount Whitney--The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker

By Hank Umemoto

In 1942, fourteen-year-old Hank Umemoto gazed out a window at Manzanar Relocation Center, saw the silhouette of Mount Whitney against an indigo sky, and vowed that one day he would climb to the top. Fifty-seven years and a lifetime of stories later, at the age 71, he reached the summit. Part memoir and part hiker's diary, Manzanar to Mount Whitney gives an intimate, rollicking, poignant account of Japanese American life in California before and after World War II. As he wanders through the mountains of California's Inland Empire, Umemoto recalls pieces of his childhood on a vineyard in the Sacramento Valley, his time at Manzanar, where beauty and hope were maintained despite the odds, and his later career as the proprietor of a printing firm with unfailing dignity and honesty, and considerable whimsy as well. And all along, the peak of Mount Whitney casts its shadow, a symbol of freedom, beauty and survival.