Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/238/

Nickname

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.


identity names nicknames

Date: January 7, 2004

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen

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

Interviewee Bio

James Hirabayashi, son of hardworking immigrant farmers in the Pacific Northwest, was a high school senior in 1942 when he was detained in the Pinedale Assembly Center before being transferred to the Tule Lake Concentration Camp in Northern California.

After World War II, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Anthropology from the University of Washington, and eventually his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Hirabayashi is Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University where he was Dean of the nation’s first school of ethnic studies. He also held research and teaching positions at the University of Tokyo, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Ahmadu Bellow Univerity, Zaria, Nigeria.

He passed away in May 2012 at age 85. (June 2014)

Kogiso,Mónica
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Kogiso,Mónica

Identity crisis (Spanish)

(b. 1969) Former president of Centro Nikkei Argentino.

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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero
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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero

Never sang Enka outside the family

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Kansuma,Fujima
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Kansuma,Fujima

Both Japanese and American identities though Japanese dance

(1918-2023) Nisei Japanese kabuki dancer

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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero
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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero

Coming to Japan

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Results of being more American than Japanese

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero
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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero

Trying to convey the meaning of the songs

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Endo,Kenny
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Endo,Kenny

Internship on a Native American reservation in Arizona

(b.1952) Master drummer, artistic director of the Taiko Center of the Pacific

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Ota,Vince
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Ota,Vince

Different tension between East Coast and Los Angeles

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Tanaka,Seiichi
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Tanaka,Seiichi

Differences between American and Japanese taiko

(b.1943) Shin-issei grand master of taiko; founded San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1968.

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Sogi,Francis Y.
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Sogi,Francis Y.

Meeting Japanese Americans from the mainland in MIS

(1923-2011) Lawyer, MIS veteran, founder of Francis and Sarah Sogi Foundation

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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero
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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero

Nikkei Sansei

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Inoue,Enson
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Inoue,Enson

Sudden acceptance in Japanese society

(b. 1967) Hawai`i-born professional fighter in Japan

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Inoue,Enson
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Inoue,Enson

Ring name: "Yamato Damashi"

(b. 1967) Hawai`i-born professional fighter in Japan

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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero
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(Jerome Charles White Jr.),Jero

Getting on Kohaku (Japanese)

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Inoue,Enson
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Inoue,Enson

Citizenship and identity

(b. 1967) Hawai`i-born professional fighter in Japan

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