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Growing Up in Japan

There was one boy that was of a mixed marriage and we kind of hung around together for a while. I remember he found a dead rattlesnake and I took the rattlesnake and I put it in the women’s bathroom, coiled it up. Oh boy, that was my revenge. Nobody ever found out who did it. But it was rough because I didn’t know the Japanese, except the servants, and all of a sudden I’m the low person on the totem pole. I spoke fluent Japanese so I understood everything. My mother had a really rough time in camp because she was used to servants and even when we came over, she didn’t know how to cook or anything. So I would learn to cook something and then I would teach my mother and I was about 8, 9, 10, I would do that and then grandmother would also help a little bit.


families hapa intermarriage interracial marriages Japan marriages mixed marriages racially mixed people schools

Date: August 27, 2012

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Cindy Nakashima, Emily Anderson

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum with support of NITTO Tires Life History Project. Courtesy of the USC Hapa Japan Database Project.

Interviewee Bio

Terry Janzen was born in Tokyo, Japan on July 15, 1930. She is half Japanese and grew up in both Japan and the United States. She was incarcerated at Poston for 6 months during World War II. She has been a teacher and a Chair for the Adams County Democratic Party in Washington. (April 2013)

 

* Terry Janzen interviewed by Cindy Nakashima and Emily Anderson for the exhibition, Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History. A Collaboration with the USC Hapa Japan Database Project, videographer, Evan Kodani with support of NITTO Tires Life History Project.

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Spending time with children

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

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Getting married

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Possibility of being adopted by aunt

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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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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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

Gordon's parents' experience in prison

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

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Clothes of plantation workers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Surviving after father's death

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Washing for Filipino bachelors

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Brother leaves for war, survival

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Doing chores

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Chad Morton
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Chad Morton

Benefits of his multiracial background

(b.1977) Professional football player.

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Eric Morton
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Eric Morton

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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Johnnie Morton
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Johnnie Morton

Gained appreciation of his multiracial heritage through participation in Nisei Relays

(b.1971) Professional football player.

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