Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1129/

Thoughts on Japan (Japanese)

(Japanese) Well, when I go as a representative of Peru, the Peruvian government sends a uniform. It’s called a “PROMPERU” (Comisión de Promoción del Perú para la Exportación y el Turismo / Commission for the Promotion of Peru Export and Tourism). And on it, it says Inka country, and has the Peruvian flag. Since I’m going as a representative of Peru, I’m on the Peruvian side, with the flag too. So everyone say things like “Why not add half the Japanese flag?” But I hate that kind of half measure. Peru is Peru. Japan is Japan. But, you know, if I was asked to go on behalf of Japan, as a Japanese man, obviously I’d do it in a heartbeat.

So when we hear “Kimi ga Yo” (Japanese national anthem) …or, you know, when watching the Olympics and Japan wins…or…well it doesn’t matter if they don’t win…when we see them giving it their best effort, of course we feel pride. Also, a long time ago, around the time of Prime Minister Suzuki, he came here when they had the Paris Summit, stopping here on the way home. That was the first time a Japanese airplane landed at the Lima airport. The Japanese flag had arrived. Then the captain of the plane opened the window, held the Japanese and Peruvian flags and waved them like this. You know when you see something like that, the tears start flowing. And furthermore, he’s called the Prime Minister, but while he was here, it just felt like your own dad came to visit. You know you’re Japanese when you feel like that.


generations identity immigrants immigration Issei Japan migration Peru

Date: April 18, 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

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

Interviewee Bio

Toshiro Konishi was born on July 11, 1953, the fourth son of a long-established Japanese restaurant owner in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Having played in the kitchen from around the age of six, at 11-years-old, Konishi began helping out in the kitchen with other chef candidates. Then in 1971, at age 16, he headed to Tokyo and became a chef at the restaurant “Fumi”.

In 1974, he moved to Peru with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, known in America, Japan, and elsewhere for his Japanese fusion cuisine at his restaurant, “Nobu”. After working at the Japanese restaurant “Matsuei” for ten years, he opened “Toshiro’s” and “Wako” in a Sheraton hotel in Lima. In 2002, he also became manager of “Sushi Bar Toshiro’s” in the San Isidro region.

Aside from running the restaurants, he taught at San Ignacio de Loyola University, participated in culinary festivals around the world, introduced innovative cuisine known as “Peruvian Fusion” (a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines), and received numerous awards. In 2008 he became the first Japanese chef based in Latin America to receive the Japanese government’s Minister's Prize from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. (October 2009)

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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki

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Father became trilingual to practice medicine

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James Hirabayashi

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James Hirabayashi

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James Hirabayashi

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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

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Venancio Shinki

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Venancio Shinki

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Mike Shinoda
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Mike Shinoda

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Frances Midori Tashiro Kaji
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Frances Midori Tashiro Kaji

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