April 6, 2013

This is Hachiojiyama in Honmoku, Yokohama. My great grandfather bought the hill in about 1900 and the people in the area came to be call it Herumu-yama, or Helm hill. My grandfather and several of his siblings had summer places on that hill. My great aunts used to row around the bend to Sankeien, where the family there would serve barley tea. (before it became a park) This picture was taken by my father after the war. In pre-war days there used to be a staircase down to the beach. When I was at the LA Times, our research assistant says her mother recalls how one of the Helm mothers would ring a gong to call the kids up for dinner. I walked on that beach as a young child, but all of that coastline was later filled in and is now sadly lined with oil storage tanks and refineries.3-helmhill-web

Leslie Helm

About the Author

Leslie Helm

Leslie Helm was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, where his family has lived since 1869. He has worked as Tokyo correspondent for Business Week and the Los Angeles Times. It was during his years abroad that he adopted two Japanese children and began the research that would result in Yokohama Yankee. Helm is currently editor of Seattle Business magazine. Leslie graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in Asian studies. He attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on a U.S. Japan Friendship Commission fellowship. Helm is currently editor of Seattle Business magazine.

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