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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 T. Fujioka
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Robert T. Fujioka

Growing up Japanese in Hawaii

(b. 1952) Former banking executive, born in Hawaii

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Akira Takashio
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Akira Takashio

Tough life at boarding house (Japanese)

Shin Issei – owner of izakaya (Japanese-style tavern) and kappo (small Japanese diner) restaurant, Honda-Ya

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Tom Yuki
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Tom Yuki

His family's migration to Salinas, California

(b. 1935) Sansei businessman.

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Kishi Bashi
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Kishi Bashi

On being Japanese and American

(b. 1975) Musician, composer, and songwriter

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Kishi Bashi
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Kishi Bashi

His Shin-Issei parents

(b. 1975) Musician, composer, and songwriter

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

General reasons why people left Japan for Peru

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Parents identification as Peruvian Okinawan

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Okinawan cultural appreciation

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Prejudice against Okinawans from mainland folks

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

American values she aligns with

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Working together in Okinawa using three languages

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Mitsuye Yamada
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Mitsuye Yamada

Expressing herself through poetry

(b. 1923) Japanese American poet, activist

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Mitsuye Yamada
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Mitsuye Yamada

Her mother came to the U.S. with a group of picture brides

(b. 1923) Japanese American poet, activist

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Mitsuye Yamada
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Mitsuye Yamada

Her father bought her mother American clothes after she arrived from Japan

(b. 1923) Japanese American poet, activist

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Juan Alberto Matsumoto
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Juan Alberto Matsumoto

About Escobar (Spanish)

(b. 1962) Nisei Japanese Argentinian, currently residing in Japan

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