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No question about going into the family business

That I would go into real estate development and that I would…or some sort of building field. I’ve always been interested in it. I watched my grandfather and my father in the business from when I was very small. My first job was as a laborer at the Moana Hotel, that last big renovation. And I’ve just always been around the business and been fascinated by it.

business economics management property real estate

Date: June 1, 2006

Location: Hawai'i, US

Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Bert A. Kobayashi, Jr., known as “B.J.,” first experienced the construction business as a laborer for Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., the Hawai‘i company founded by his grandfather and run by his father, Bert, Sr. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1993, he worked in Senator Daniel Inouye’s Washington, D.C., office—where Hawai‘i’s senior Democrat advised him to consider the value of obtaining a law degree. After three years studying real estate and business law at Georgetown, B.J. took over as president of his father’s company, developing the Kapolei Civic Center. With his brother, sister and a business partner, he then formed the Kobayashi Group, developing major condominium and luxury golf resort projects. In addition to his business interests, B.J. is also passionate about promoting sustainability and protecting Hawai ‘i’s natural resources, and is active in community work such as the Gift Foundation of Hawai‘i (which he co-founded) and the Nature Conservancy. (June 2007)

Source: Based on article in Pacific Business News.

Tom Yuki
Tom Yuki

Father's business partner operated their farming business during WWII

(b. 1935) Sansei businessman.


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