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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)

Rose Ochi
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Rose Ochi

Pop and Balls

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Tamio Wakayama
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Tamio Wakayama

Re-examining Identity

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Harunori Oda
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Harunori Oda

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Harunori Oda
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Harunori Oda

Getting started in America

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Harunori Oda
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Harunori Oda

Expanding business

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Harunori Oda
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Harunori Oda

Life Philosophy

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Hachiro Ohtomo
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Hachiro Ohtomo

Facing discrimination in America (Japanese)

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Jean Hamako Schneider
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Jean Hamako Schneider

On international marriages (Japanese)

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Jean Hamako Schneider
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Jean Hamako Schneider

Masao-san (Japanese)

(b. 1925) War bride

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Jean Hamako Schneider
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Jean Hamako Schneider

Conflicted about immigrating to America (Japanese)

(b. 1925) War bride

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Tamio Wakayama
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Tamio Wakayama

Defining "Nikkei"

(1941-2018) Japanese Canadian photojournalist and activist

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Takeo Uesugi
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Takeo Uesugi

His father urged him to go to the US

(1940-2016) Issei Landscape Architect

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Terumi Hisamatsu Calloway
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Terumi Hisamatsu Calloway

Regret (Japanese)

(b. 1937) A war bride from Yokohama

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Hachiro Ohtomo
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Hachiro Ohtomo

My daughter couldn’t fit in Japan, so I decided to go back to America (Japanese)

(b. 1936) Shin-issei welding business owner

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Sawako Ashizawa Uchimura
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Sawako Ashizawa Uchimura

Unique Identity from Having Multiple Backgrounds

(b. 1938) Philipines-born hikiagesha who later migrated to the United States.

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