Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1110/

Never feeling discriminated against in Hawai‘i

You know, I’ve heard the stories about what my dad went through and especially my grandfather, but you know, for me, I really can’t point to any discrimination I think, direct. I mean maybe it happened and I didn’t know it but even going back east, I didn’t really feel a lot of it.

I think the big advantage for me was growing up in Hawaii where basically everyone is like me – Hapa Haole. You know, all my best friends are the same racial mix as myself or a lot of them. So I think that sort of diversity in Hawaii really made me feel comfortable and confident about who I am and maybe as a result of that, I was just thicker skinned to it. I’m used to jokes – racial jokes. I liked racial jokes. I think they’re funny. I think it’s kind of cool to notice the differences and make fun. Some people are more sensitive to it, I just have thicker skin. So if it did happen to me, I wasn’t aware of it.


Caucasians discrimination Haole hapa Hawaii interpersonal relations race 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.

Ariyoshi,George
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Ariyoshi,George

Decision to run for governor

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,George
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Ariyoshi,George

Being fair

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,George
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Ariyoshi,George

Role of Hawaii internationally

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi
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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi

Working in the pineapple fields

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi
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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi

Tree planting

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

Not bringing shame to family

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

Past ties to present situation in Middle East

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

1920 labor strike

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Bombing of Pearl Harbor

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Helping soldiers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Okinawan discrimination

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kochiyama,Yuri
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Kochiyama,Yuri

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Kochiyama,Yuri
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Kochiyama,Yuri

Californians didn't know about evacuation

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Kochiyama,Yuri
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Father as prisoner of war in hospital

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