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When I started grade school, there’s another, maybe one or two James’s in the class. And so that the teachers were trying to find out what our middle names were so that they could have different names. And my mother insisted that since we’re in America, that they use my English name. And so I was known as James. But, in my later years in grade school, all my Caucasian friends, or some of my nisei friends, they started calling me Herbie for Herbie-yashi. (Oh, I see.) So I was known as Herbie or Herb before the war.

Date: January 7, 2004
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Art Hansen
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

identity nicknames

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