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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1388/

“I was never an exceptional student…”

I was never an exceptional student, which seems kind of odd, but I think part of it was because I was not that interested in school. I think from the time I was in maybe junior high school or high school, I studied enough to get good enough grades, but I was never interested in becoming an outstanding scholar. I never applied myself that much. In other words, I had the same grades, I was thinking about this, all through school. During high school, I probably had mostly Bs, got a few As. And then went to college and I had mostly Bs and a few As. And I went to law school, and I had mostly Bs and a few As. So I would study hard enough to get well enough, but I was not that motivated to study. I wanted to finish school, and I wanted to go to work.


education law lawyers schools

Date: July 2, 2014

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Sakura Kato

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

Interviewee Bio

Born in Santa Maria California, Judge Atsushi Wallace Tashima is the first Japanese American and the third Asian American in history to serve on a U.S. Court of Appeals. He was born to Issei immigrants and spent three years of his childhood in the Poston War Relocation Center in Poston, Arizona. When Tashima entered his first year of Harvard Law School in 1958, he was one of only 4 Asian American students at Harvard. Nevertheless, Tashima went on to lead a 34 year-long career as a federal judge. In 1980, Tashima was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by President Carter. After serving 15 years on the U.S. District Court, President Clinton elevated Tashima to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers the nine western states on the West Coast. As as 2004, Tashima assumed senior status and currently sits in the Ninth Circuit Pasadena Couthouse in Pasadena, CA.  (August 2014)

*This is one of the main projects completed by The Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) Program intern each summer, which the Japanese American Bar Association and the Japanese American National Museum have co-hosted.

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