Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1438/

George's Mother & Brad

We exchanged our vows in that wedding, and in my vow, I thanked him for having been not only a wonderful partner in my life, but having been a partner in caring for my mother. Because she got Alzheimer’s. It's a very, very difficult illness. She couldn't take care of herself. And I asked Brad if we can move her in with us. And he agreed. And I was so touched by that.

While she was living with us and we were going through all of the awful, terrible, painful stages of Alzheimer’s, seeing my mother leave us in stages. And those stages sometimes are horrific. The anger stage is followed by the blank stage. When she just sat on the patio, looking out into the garden. And it's heartbreaking.

And then the final hospitalization, and through it all, Brad was there like a son. He was a son. My mother recognized him all the way to the end. My brother, who used to come in for very brief, abbreviated visits, always in a rush. “I got an appointment.” After one appointment, I mean, after one visit, when he left, she said, “Are wa dare?” Who was that? It was heartbreaking. She didn't recognize her own son. But she knew Brad. It is a terrible, terrible disease. And Brad helped me all the way through with it.


families

Date: February 3, 2015

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki, Janice Tanaka

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

Interviewee Bio

George Hosato Takei was born in Los Angeles in 1937 to an Issei father, Takekuma Norman Takei, and Nisei mother, Fumiko Emily Nakamura. He was only five years old when his family was rounded up along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans and sent to concentration camps by the U.S. government following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theater at the University of California, Los Angeles and embarked on a career in theater, television, and film. In 1966 he was cast as U.S. Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on the groundbreaking TV series Star Trek.

In addition to his acting career, Takei has been highly active in public and community service, including serving on the board of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and has been an active and generous member of the Japanese American National Museum Board of Trustees since its inception. 

Since coming out as gay in 2005, Takei has become an effective advocate for LGBT rights, speaking widely about his own experiences, holding public figures accountable for homophobic comments, and serving as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. Takei has enjoyed a renewed wave of popularity in recent years thanks to the infectious humor and warmth of his Facebook page, which has over eight million followers. 

Updated May 2015

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

Wife's family in Japan

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

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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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