Teacher | Writer | Traveler


In this insightful book Phyllis writes with humor of her experiences in Japanese concentration camps day-by-day and how it led to faith in people and to a life of service. As a long time admirer of Phyllis, I always wondered how she sustained her passion. I picked up her book to just glance at it, and before I knew it, it was 2 a.m. when I was turning the last page.
Deborah Szekely, Founder of Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta
Thank you for keeping a high spirit in the midst of cruelty. I felt a sense of hope and gratitude for the gift of human life.
Guillermo Romeo Ibarrola, Specialist in Argo-Ecology & Environmental Education


I just want to tell you how very much I am loving your book. Your curious, wise voice sings to my spirit and I feel for your pain and learnings as they intersect an spotlight my own. You have done such a masterful job of weaving deeply human understanding with actual situations―it is difficult to put down. I am giving copies for Christmas presents to my friends and just wanted you to know that your work is enhancing lives.
Victoria Halsey, Ph.D. | VP, Applied Learning, The Ken Blanchard Companies


In The Hidden Passport, Phyllis Pilgrim takes often terrifying and horrific experiences and weaves them into a work of art. The fortitude of Phyllis, her brother and most of all her mother, allowed the family to see the spark of beauty and humanity that shone through this terrible time. This is a “must read” book that you will not be able to put down until you are finished.
Myra Klahr
The Hidden Passport is a wonderful book. I didn't want to put it down and it is so well written that the time just flew by. It has given me inspiration to do something with my life. Thanks for sharing it with us, Phyllis!
Kelly McMurray


Excellent read. So well put together and extremely interesting. It gave me so much insight into the concentration camps. Your parents were unbelievable as well as you and your brother.
Norma Shechtman


Larry and I have read your wonderful book with great interest and admiration. This is an extraordinary story, so beautifully told. We will treasure your writing and that of your remarkable parents. The book itself: the organization of the material, the photos, the calligraphy, the printing, the cover, the embroidery of the names, all contribute to the humanity and beauty of your memoir. Thank you for writing it.
Ruth Borger
The Hidden Passport is a must read book that will captivate you from beginning to end. A real life story from an American hero and role model.
Larry Payne, Ph.D.
Co-Author, Yoga for Dummies, Yoga Rx and The Business of Teaching Yoga


I have just finished reading your book and am in awe and full of gratitude to you for writing it. You are the ultimate survivor. What an early life you had. First your internment experience and then your marriage captivity. I would have buckled under the first, and committed suicide during the second.

I have always wondered what being in an internment camp would be like from someone's first hand reporting. Your story is a testimony not only to your family's courage but also to the human spirit that enabled you all to survive. These many years later that spirit is still there radiating through you today. I felt it the first time I met you.

Those were nightmare years that you must have had to relive as you wrote so that you could share your experiences with others. Thank you so much for that gift.
Joan Davis


Dearest Phyllis,
I took your book on my last flight and finished the first half on my way to my destination and read the last half on the flight home. What a horrifyingly beautiful story! I had a Japanese-American roommate in Lake Tahoe who had been imprisoned with her family for several years in California during the War when she was a child. I was deeply touched by your family. I look forward to seeing you again at the Ranch. Blessings to you.

Shayne, Specialty Week yoga instructor

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When you dive into Phyllis' tale of childhood in a Japanese concentration camp, you are very much there with her. The immediacy of childhood perception places you firmly in the here and now of it.

This may sound too painful to bear. And yet, this same perception can soften some of the horror of the recollections. Phyllis takes you by the hand and leads you on an amazing, but all too real, journey you would not otherwise go on. At the end of it, you will be glad you did.
Lucie Jay

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Phyllis with her father
in their garden