Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1108/

A perfect mix of both

What am I? I would consider myself Hapa Haole. You know, half-Japanese, half-Irish from a wonderful woman from Boston, Massachusetts and a great guy from Honolulu, Hawaii. So that’s the way I see myself or kalihi. So I’m a perfect mix of both, I think.


Caucasians Haole hapa Hawaii Kalihi Oahu racially mixed people United States

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.

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Benefits of his multiracial background

(b.1977) Professional football player.

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Addressing multiracial identity can be difficult

Starred at wide receiver for Dartmouth College, now a patent attorney. Brother of Johnnie and Chad Morton.

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Gained appreciation of his multiracial heritage through participation in Nisei Relays

(b.1971) Professional football player.

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Early consciousness of identity

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Finding parallels through art

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Refusing to use a Chinese name to identify as Asian American

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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The Hapa Project

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Perceptions of uniqueness

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Defusing myths through The Hapa Project

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Difficulty responding to the question "What are you?"

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Differing responses by gender to the Hapa Project

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Japanese Americans are more aware of their Hapa identity

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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Hapa as his primary identity

(b. 1965) filmmaker and artist

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International dimensions of hapa identity

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Issues of identity outside of America

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