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Representing her Family and the Japanese American Community in Acting

I don’t know that I felt like everyone else. I felt like I was – I had to behave, I was setting an example – everything I did reflected not only on my mother and father or my sisters, but on all the Japanese-American community. So I had to behave and be good, because otherwise I would bring shame to the community. I felt like I was very much a part of that Issei/Nisei community right after the war. Maybe that was good for me, kept me out of trouble.


acting actors artists communities entertainers identity

Date: November 8, 2018

Location: California, US

Interviewer: June Berk

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

Interviewee Bio

Takayo Fischer, born in November 1932, is a Nisei American stage, film, and TV actress. During World War II, as a young child, she and her family were forcibly evacuated from the West Coast and spent time in the Fresno Assembly Center before being relocated to Jerome and Rohwer concentration camps. Fischer later lived in Chicago, Illinois, where, as a young adult, she won the crown of “Miss Nisei Queen.” She has appeared in dozens of major Hollywood films, including Moneyball (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She also appeared in the stage production of The World of Suzie Wong in New York in 1958 and many productions with East West Players in Los Angeles. (June 2018)

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

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

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

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Ethnic diversity

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

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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

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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

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Christian gatherings in homes

(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

Nickname

(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

Context affects meaning

(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

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

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

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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan. English Teacher at YMCA.

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Mike Shinoda
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Mike Shinoda

Connecting to Japan

(b. 1977) Musician, Producer, Artist

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Feeling empowered by taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Sense of lineage between Sansei and Issei through Taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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Ann K. Nakamura
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Ann K. Nakamura

Image of Americans

Sansei from Hawaii living in Japan. Teacher and businesswoman.

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