Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/223/

Getting married

And when we got engaged, it was very interesting because George's parents came over. We had a baishakunin, you know, like a go-between, both sides. And they came with a huge red fish and an envelope with money in it, and they asked for my hand in marriage. And it was on my birthday. And it was something very new to me because my parents were very Americanized—my mother was born here in Hawaii. And it wasn't until I married into his family did I really learn a lot of the Japanese traditions.

His family was a very traditional family. And we ate soba, you know, on New Year's Eve. We had ozoni, on New Year's Day. And we decorated our front door with those good luck leaves. And the first person into the home was supposed to be a male, not a female, because female meant bad luck. And so I learned all of this from living with George's family.


families traditions

Date: December 15, 2003

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Lisa Itagaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Jean (Hayashi) Ariyoshi, who holds a B.A. in speech and a B.S. in math from the University of Hawai`i, met her future husband George Ariyoshi while earning her teaching credential and serving as a speech instructor. She also hosted a weekly television talent show. They married in 1955, a year after his election as a Democrat to the Hawai`i Territorial House.

Heavily involved in charitable and community causes during her husband’s tenure as Hawai’i’s governor between 1974 and 1986, she established the First Lady’s Volunteer Awards to honor Hawaii’s outstanding volunteers annually. After the end of her duties as first lady, she became a domestic and international philanthropic figure. (December 2003)

Ariyoshi,George
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Ariyoshi,George

Spending time with children

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

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Funai,Kazuo
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Funai,Kazuo

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

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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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

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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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Clothes of plantation workers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Surviving after father's death

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Washing for Filipino bachelors

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Brother leaves for war, survival

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Doing chores

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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

Wife's family in Japan

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

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

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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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto
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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto

Food growing up

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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Yonamine,Wally Kaname
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Yonamine,Wally Kaname

His parents' experience with Japanese resistance toward intermarriage with Okinawans

(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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Yonamine,Wally Kaname
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Yonamine,Wally Kaname

Working in cane fields as teenager to supplement family income

(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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