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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1496/

Describing the meaning of "Nikkei"

Yeah, I never thought so seriously about that culture, Nikkei culture. But, well it’s kind of long rooted to past history as well, I think, first generation up to now. We have to go back to the original time when Japanese people came, and then flourish into Japanese American here. That kind of history, I have, I have acknowledged. So, always I try to feel what the original people wanted to be. 


agriculture education gardening gardens Japanese gardens

Date: August 10, 2016

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Sojin Kim, John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Dr. Takeo Uesugi, born in Osaka on March 25, 1940, continued a family tradition of thirteen prior generations of Japanese garden builders. He completed undergraduate studies in landscape architecture at Osaka Prefecture University in 1962 and began graduate studies at Kyoto University before earning his master’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967. He returned to Japan to teach landscape architecture at Kyoto University in 1969. In 1970 he contributed to the landscape design of the Japan Pavilion for Expo ‘70 in Osaka. Returning to California to teach landscape architecture in the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona, he designed projects for public gardens, as well as for corporate and individual clients, integrating the principles of traditional Japanese gardens with the climate and lifestyles of post-World War II California.

His major work includes: restoration of the Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; design of the Pine Wind Garden at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center; and design of the James Irvine Japanese Garden at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

In 2000, Dr. Uesugi retired after 30 years of teaching at Cal Poly Pomona, though he remained active as Professor Emeritus. In 2010 the Japanese government honored him with the Order of the Sacred Treasure recognizing his lifetime of achievement. He passed away in January of 2016 at the age of 75. (April 2016)

 

* This interview was conducted by curator Sojin Kim for Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden, an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in 2007.

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Little interaction with parents

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Politics in 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

Center for Japanese American Studies in community

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Involvement with ethnic studies

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

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

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

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Wally Kaname Yonamine

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Teaching at the military language school during World War II

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Lesson learned from community college faculty

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Rewards of teaching

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

Japanese school

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

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