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Interviews

Steve Kaji

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan. English Teacher at YMCA.

FOB's

As we grew up in high school in Hawaii, I would look at Japanese from Japan and they were obviously from Japan, just by the way they dressed or carried themselves. We had a running term in Hawaii – FOB – fresh off the boat. And we would tease the FOBs amongst my close circle of friends. And I never dreamed that I’d be here.

And now when I go back to Hawaii, they say, You look FOB to me. But I think the relationships that we've developed with these people here in Japan have really shown us that they're no different than the people in America. Maybe speak a different language, maybe have some cultural differences, but experiencing the same problems in their marriages or with their kids or with their jobs and having the same struggles that Americans do.


Finding Home (film) FOB (slang) identity migration

Date: November 4, 2003

Location: Hyogo, Japan

Interviewer: Art Nomura

Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

Interviewee Bio

Steve Kaji is 48 years old and was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Steve is a Sansei/Yonsei. As a child, Steve’s family customarily ate Japanese meals. However, because his family is Christian, they did not observe very many Japanese traditions.

Steve lives in Kobe with his wife Pam and their three children, all born in Hawaii. Originally, the Kajis came to Japan as missionaries, but they discontinued this role after three years. Steve now works as an English teacher for the YMCA. At some point, the Kajis believe that they will return to Hawaii because of family care obligations, but they would prefer to stay and live in Japan. (Novermber 4, 2003)

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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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

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Henry Shimizu
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Henry Shimizu

Grandmother convinced his mother to return to Canada

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Interest in Japanese migration studies (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Nickname

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

We go to America (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Context affects meaning

(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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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Mike Shinoda
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Mike Shinoda

Connecting to Japan

(b. 1977) Musician, Producer, Artist

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Takeo Uesugi
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Takeo Uesugi

Studying in Japan before working in the US

(1940-2016) Issei Landscape Architect

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Feeling empowered by taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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