Momo Yashima was born in 1948 in New York City to immigrant Japanese parents who came to study art. Her father, Toro Yashima, was a Caldecott winning book author and illustrator and her mother, Mitsu, was an artist and activist. Momo is featured in many of her father’s books. Her older brother, Mako, was an Academy Award nominated actor and the Founder and Artistic Director of East West Players in Los Angeles. The family moved to Boyle Heights in 1953. Momo is a stage, television and film actress and recently co-wrote and directed, A Divided Community, about Japanese-American draft resisters during WWII. Momo met Marsha (Maestas) Vasquez and Dian (Johnson) Harrison at Belvedere Junior High. The three were inseparable friends nicknamed, “The Mod Squad.” Mitsu was active in Women Strike for Peace and took the girls with her to anti-war protests which influenced all three girls. Momo was a self-proclaimed, “Wild Child” and was known for her outrageous antics and being lots of fun. Momo graduated in 1966 from Roosevelt High School. After high school, Momo and Marsha became roommates when Momo attended Cal State Los Angeles. Momo, Marsha, and Dian have been best friends for 50 years.