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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)

Mónica Kogiso
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Mónica Kogiso

Identity crisis (Spanish)

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

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Rose Kutsukake
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Rose Kutsukake

Why her parents came to Canada

(1918-2004) Interned in Slocan during World War II. Active member of the Japanese Canadian community.

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

Never sang Enka outside the family

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Fujima Kansuma
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Fujima Kansuma

Both Japanese and American identities though Japanese dance

(1918-2023) Nisei Japanese kabuki dancer

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Fred Sasaki
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Fred Sasaki

Family background of Fredrick Yoshihide Sasaki

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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Terumi Hisamatsu Calloway
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Terumi Hisamatsu Calloway

Four sisters had international marriages (Japanese)

(b. 1937) A war bride from Yokohama

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

Coming to Japan

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

The reason to stay in Japan after his third year

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig
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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Results of being more American than Japanese

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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

Trying to convey the meaning of the songs

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

Choice to move east or go to Japan

(b.1920) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Established the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Toronto

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Kenny Endo
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Kenny Endo

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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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

Different tension between East Coast and Los Angeles

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

Never being Japanese

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

A stereotype of Japanese Americans

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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