Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/254/

Interviews

Kaji,Pam

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan with her family.

Experiences in Japan and its influence

I find myself having to be more flexible and also be more humble to ask for help in ways I never would have to if I were back home in Hawaii. So I think, more than anything, it’s been that area. And I notice when I go back to Hawaii that I’m much more aware and sensitive to people who are traveling from abroad than maybe I ever was before because I know what it’s like to need help. So I think that’s one of the main areas I’ve noticed change in my own life.

Sometimes it’s really hard, you know, to be able to do that. For example, I was passing out these brochures one day and I went to this one mansion and I didn’t see this sign that said you weren’t allowed to be doing things like that here without permission. And this man who was the proprietor – he was taking care of the building. He came up to me and he goes, “What are you doing?” And I said, “Oh, I’m just passing these things into the mailbox.” He goes, “You can’t do that here.” And then he points to this sign and I told him, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m a foreigner. I can’t really read that sign.” And he said, “You live in Japan. You should be able to read that.” You know, “How can you live here?” And I thought, “That’s true.” That was so humbling. I thought, “Better study harder.” I mean it’s part of daily life here, you know.


Finding Home (film) identity languages migration

Date: November 4, 2003

Location: Hyogo, Japan

Interviewer: Art Nomura

Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

Interviewee Bio

Pam (Kasai) Kaji is a 48-year-old native of Honolulu, Hawaii who is currently living in Kobe, Japan. Pam, a Sansei/Yonsei, is an only child. As a young girl, she spent a lot of time with her maternal grandparents in Kauai. As a result, she celebrated different Japanese holidays, though not necessarily in a traditional way.

Pam moved to Japan in 1992 with her husband Steve and their three children, all born in Hawaii (the youngest came to Japan as an infant). Originally, they came as missionaries, only expecting to live in Japan for 2-3 years. However, after discontinuing their role as missionaries after three years, they remained in the country. Pam teaches English four times a week at church and helps out at her daughter’s British-run international school. Pam misses her family in Hawaii, but feels “at home” in Kobe.(November 4, 2003)

Nakamura,Ann K.
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Nakamura,Ann K.

Conflict between Japanese and Western culture

Sansei from Hawaii living in Japan. Teacher and businesswoman.

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

Buddhism in America and Japan

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

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Takeshita,Yukio
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Takeshita,Yukio

Lack of notion of citizenship in Japan

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

Having patience in Japan, being both

(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

Being on the outside

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

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Inoue,Enson
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Inoue,Enson

I’m American, but my home is Japan

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

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Ota,Vince
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Ota,Vince

Being a Japanese American in Japan

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Mizuki,Peter
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Mizuki,Peter

Japan vs. Tulsa Oklahoma

Sansei Japanese American living in Japan and Kendo practioner

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