Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1718/

The moment he realized he identified as an American

I knew I was an American when I guess I was in 10th grade. My uncle who lives in Japan, he's my father’s younger brother, he’s number three. And he was given away as an adopted boy to another family because they had no heirs in that particular family. So my uncle came to our house in [the] United States at that time and he has no heirs. They’renot able to have any children. So he asked me to be adopted by him to take over his business when I grow up. And he has a very successful business in Hiroshima. And I told him, “No, there’s no way I could do that. I’ve got football practice next week.” I guess that's the point I realized, Hey I’m a Yankee, I’m an American.


identity Japanese Americans United States

Date: September 3, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Masako Miki

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

Interviewee Bio

Howard Kakita was born in 1938 in East Los Angeles, California. His family took him to Japan in 1940. His parents and younger brother came back to the United States in 1940, to take care of the family business, but Howard and an older brother, Kenny, stayed in Japan.

When the war broke out, his family in the U.S. were incarcerated in Poston, AZ. On August 6, 1945, the Atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. Howard was 0.8 miles from the hypocenter and survived. He and Kenny came back to the U.S. and reunited with their family in 1948.

Howard pursued a career in computer engineering. After his retirement, he joined American Society Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors (ASA) and has been actively sharing his A-bomb experience. (September 2019)

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