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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/308/

Interviews

Yukio Takeshita

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

Involvement in JACL

Well, I’m living here almost 60 years. Maybe for many years, I had no contact with the JACL. As I told you, I just joined after maybe I was 60 years old. At that period, there was no place to say I’m a Japanese American, or I’m getting together with the Japanese American people like that because there’s not such kind of gathering in all of Japan. And there's no guy about my age, and there's nobody who was in a camp. There’s nobody who experienced camp. So in that sense, I’m special also... because they don’t know what camp is. Well, at least I was a kid, but I was in camp three and a half years. I was in barbed wire fence. But, people who came back to Japan before the war don’t know what camp is and how it was to be relocated or segregated—I don’t know what you call it. So even the younger JACL boys, well they say they heard something from their parents, but they really don’t know anything about it.


Finding Home (film) identity imprisonment incarceration World War II camps

Date: September 11, 2003

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Interviewer: Art Nomura

Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

Interviewee Bio

A 67-year-old Nisei/Sansei son of an Issei father and Kibei mother, both from Yamaguchi Prefecture, Yukio Takeshita was born in 1935 in Tacoma, Washington where his parents ran a laundry business. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yukio and his parents were incarcerated first at the Pinedale Assembly Center near Fresno, then sent to Tule Lake Relocation Center. Because his parents were No-Nos, they remained there after it was transformed into Tule Lake Segregation Center.

At the end of the war, the Takeshita family left Tule Lake and went to Japan where Yukio attended Japanese public school. He eventually graduated from university in 1958 with a degree in economics. He then worked for a company in Hiroshima. Ultimately, Yukio changed companies five times, which represented a highly unusual situation in Japan. He primarily worked in the import-export field and largely used the English language in his business dealings. He retired in 1998.

Yukio and his Japanese wife have two children, both Japanese citizens. He is a member of the JACL in Japan, where members are of different backgrounds, not just Japanese Americans. He received redress from the United States which made him feel that the U.S. still thinks of him as an “American,” however he identifies himself as an “American-born Japanese.” (September 11, 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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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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Eric Nakamura
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Eric Nakamura

Skateboarding at Manzanar

Giant Robot co-founder and publisher

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Life in camp as teenager

(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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Mas Kodani
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Mas Kodani

Fun at concentration camp

Senshin Buddhist Temple minister and co-founder of Kinnara Taiko.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Hiding what happened in camp

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Issei are hard-working

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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