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Teacher who helped with lisp

In the 8th grade, I had a very bad lisping. And I realized…I began to feel that I could not hope to become a lawyer unless I could overcome my lisping. I was very fortunate in having a teacher, Mrs. Hamada, who was my core (?) studies teacher—two periods a day—and she was my teacher for three years. And she understood what my frustrations were.

And she had me come over, and she told me, “Can you come over and help me this weekend? I want to do some things around the classroom.” And she would ask me to come with the pretext that I was going to go there to help her, and instead she wanted to spend time and have me read to her. And I don’t know how many books I read aloud to her. And she encouraged me to enter orator contests. She had me appointed as a defense attorney for our student court. And she really helped me to overcome some of the speech difficulty that I had.

Even after I left the Central Intermediate school, she encouraged me to continue to do speech. And when I represented my high school in Oahu finals, she would come and listen, and she would tell me, “Oh, I can’t imagine that I’m listening to the same George Ariyoshi.”


education teachers teaching

Date: December 15, 2003

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen

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

Interviewee Bio

George Ariyoshi was born in Honolulu in 1926. He overcame a childhood speech defect to enter the Military Intelligence Service language school after World War II and served the United States in Tokyo’s ruins. Returning home from occupied Japan, he moved to Michigan where he received undergraduate and law degrees.

He married Jean Hayashi in Hawai`i and, between 1954 and 1986, held elective offices there as a Democrat. He served three terms as Hawai`i’s governor, the first Japanese American nationwide to govern a state. By his own definition, Governor Ariyoshi was “a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.” The title of his 1997 memoir, With Obligation to All, summed up his personal and political philosophies. (December 2003)

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

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

(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

Involvement with 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

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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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Kids working hard

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

First day of school

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

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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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Training for football by carrying 100-lb bags of grass over mountains

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Teaching at the military language school during World War II

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Lesson learned from community college faculty

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Rewards of teaching

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

Japanese school

(b.1924) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Interpreter for British Army in Japan after WWII. Active in Japanese Canadian community

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

Strict school policy of separating boys and girls in Japan

(b.1920) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Established the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Toronto

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Sam Naito
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Sam Naito

Growing up outside of Portland’s Japanese community

(b. 1921) Nisei businessman. Established "Made in Oregon" retail stores

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