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Carrying on the Legacy in the Colony of Paraguay (Japanese)

(Japanese) In order to get through the tough times after World War II, many Japanese decided to leave for foreign countries. There is now a dilemma as to how to teach the children the Japanese spirit and the legacy their predecessors brought from Japan. Of course, the children born in the Japanese colony become citizens of Paraguay, but they are also allowed to keep their Japanese citizenship. Through this dual citizenship, these children should learn of Japanese culture through the Japanese language and keep hold of their valuable traditions. Within South America, Paraguay is probably the country that most values the Japanese language.

It rarely happens when I’m busy, but when I have some time on my hands, I find that I sometimes wish I could go back to Paraguay. 47 years of life in Paraguay, family, and 8 grandchildren call me back to Paraguay. I even have times when I wake up thinking it is all a dream. These feelings make me think that Paraguay is my second home and that my life is accustomed to life in Paraguay.


education identity migration Paraguay

Date: March 24, 2009

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Interviewer: Alberto Matsumoto

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

Interviewee Bio

Isao Taoka was born in 1943 in the Miyoshi District of Tokushima Prefecture. At the age of 14, he immigrated to the La Paz Colony in Paraguay. While engaging in agriculture, Mr. Taoka took on several community positions such as the chair of the Cooperativa La Paz Agrícola (Agriculture Union of La Paz), the chairman of the Central Cooperativa Nikkei del Paraguay (Central Nikkei Agriculture Union in Paraguay), and the supervisor as well as the director for the Federación de Cooperativa de Producción del Paraguay (Agriculture Union Federation of Paraguay). In 1987, he received the third class of the Paraguay Merit of Service Award. Between 1992 and 1996, and again from 2002 to 2003, Mr. Taoka served as the mayor of La Paz. In 2004, he became the first immigrant born in Japan to be inaugurated as an ambassador to Japan. Mr. Taoka served this position until October of 2009. (December 2009)

Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki
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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

(b.1942) Japanese American ceramist, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years.

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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

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Henry Shimizu
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Henry Shimizu

Grandmother convinced his mother to return to Canada

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Interest in Japanese migration studies (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Nickname

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

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Little interaction with parents

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

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Center for Japanese American Studies in community

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

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

We go to America (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Involvement with ethnic studies

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

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Context affects meaning

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

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

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

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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan. English Teacher at YMCA.

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