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Wife's family in Japan

Because I have no family here—I’m here by myself—I have more interaction with her family because they’re the closest relatives. And so most of my time, family time, is spent with them. What surprised, I think, everyone is that the grandparents, the grandmother especially—you would think being old Japan and they would be very against marrying a foreigner—but the grandmother was probably the most supportive. Even though they're her family, I feel like they’re my family here also because I’m the only one here. I don’t feel like I’m isolated or a foreigner here. I don’t know if I’ll be here forever in Japan even though I built this place. But like I say, you make your life where you are, and you make it the best as possible.


families Finding Home (film) identity Japan

Date: November 28, 2003

Location: Saga, Japan

Interviewer: Art Nomura

Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

Interviewee Bio

Robert Kiyoshi Okasaki, 61-year-old Yonsei (on his mother’s side) was born in French Camp, California, in 1942, just before his family was incarcerated during World War II at the Rowher concentration camp in Arkansas. After the war, Bob’s family lived in Stockton and later in Lodi, California, where his family had a vineyard.

Bob attended San Jose State College, eventually concentrating on pottery. Through the Study Abroad program, Bob became an apprentice to a potter, a Living National Treasure, in Japan where tableware is considered an art.

When Bob journeyed to Japan, he felt American, but now when comes home to the U.S., he does not feel American. He’s been married since 1975 to a Japanese woman and their first child was born in 1985. When he first arrived in Japan, recalls Bob, Japanese nationals treated him sometimes like “he was not all there” because of his lack of Japanese language. His relationship with his wife’s family has changed from an original relationship of caution to one of comfort, to the point where he now feels that her family is his family.(November 28, 2003)

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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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Possibility of being adopted by aunt

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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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

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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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Little interaction with parents

(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

Gordon's parents' experience in prison

(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

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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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

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

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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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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Surviving after father's death

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Washing for Filipino bachelors

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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