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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1332/

What Nikkei means to her

My definition of being Nikkei is mostly through food. I think that my mother... it’s all about food. Like what are we going to eat and what are we going to bring to the table and that has always brought us together as a family—cooking food and teaching us daughters from a young age in the kitchen and sharing the food with my grandmother and everybody. And always being very proud of her Japanese heritage.


food Hawaii heritage Japanese Americans Nikkei United States

Date: April 4, 2013

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Patricia Wakida

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

Interviewee Bio

Francesca Biller was born in Hawai'i and raised in Southern California to a Jewish father and Japanese American mother.

She is an award winning investigative journalist, political satirist, author, and social commentator for print, radio, and television. With a background of Japanese and Jewish, she writes about her interesting background in both an introspective and humorous way and her work has been published for The Huffington Post, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and many other publications. Awards include The Edward R. Murrow award, two Golden Mike awards, and four Society of Professional Journalists awards for Excellence in Journalism.

Biller is currently writing three books, the first a novel about the 442nd Infantry set in Hawaii, the second a compilation of humorous essays about growing up as a Japanese Jew in Los Angeles during the 1970s, and the third a Lifestyle book about how a diet of Hawaiian, Japanese, and Jewish food keeps her family healthy and happy. She is also currently on a national radio tour discussing her humorous take on politics, pop culture, and families. (August 2013)

Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

New Year's food

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama
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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama

Food growing up

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Learning American cooking

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Activities growing up in Peru

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

What does Nikkei mean to you? (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Japanese vs. Peruvian identity (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Peru Shimpo for the Nikkei community (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

The Japanese society reacts to Nikkei living in Japan (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

The identity of Nikkei Canadians seen in the Buddhist Church (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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Mónica Kogiso
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Mónica Kogiso

Nikkei means fusion (Spanish)

(b. 1969) Former president of Centro Nikkei Argentino.

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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

Little contact with Asians growing up on the east coast

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Francis Y. Sogi
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Francis Y. Sogi

Defining the term Nikkei

(1923-2011) Lawyer, MIS veteran, founder of Francis and Sarah Sogi Foundation

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Margaret Oda
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Margaret Oda

Memories of family dinners

(1925 - 2018) Nisei educator from Hawai‘i

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