Violet Kazue de Cristoforo
September 3rd, 1917 - October 3rd, 2007
as it was
on my wedding night
We do not have much information about Mrs.Cristoforo's childhood. We do know that she was born as Kazue Yamane in Ninole, Hawaii on September 3rd, 1917. She was raised in both Hiroshima, Japan and in Fresno, California. Soon after graduating high school in Fresno, she met her first husband, Shigeru Matsuda. She and her husband had two children, and she gave birth to a third while in and internment camp. After being separated from her husband, she went to a camp in Arkansas and a camp in Northern California. Many of her poems reflect these times.
While she and her children were released after WWII, most of her poems were destroyed. The ones that weren't, however, described life in the camps. She moved back to Japan, where she found that her ex-husband had married another woman, and saw the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She also met her second husband, U.S. Army officer Wilfred H. de Cristoforo. They moved back to California, and lived happily until Wilfred's death in 1998. She was given the National Heritage Fellowship Award at Washington D.C. in 2007. She died a month later from stroke complications at the age of 90. She left behind her three children and two grandchildren.