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Lesson learned from community college faculty

We had a cooking program, one-year cooking program at Kapiolani Community College, it's a small program and it was run by, at that time, it was run by Shiro Matsuo. Shiro's saimin. He's famous now in Hawaii as the Saimin King.

And once, one of my colleagues came in and said, Look at the graduation rates for these different programs. Look at Shiro's program. The graduation rate is low. Lot of his students are dropping out before they graduate. So I went to see Shiro. I said, Shiro, what's, what's happening here? I showed him the record. He says, Oh, what's wrong? I said, Your students are not graduating. He looked at me and he said, Is it my job to have them graduate or is it my job to find them useful jobs? I thought we're training 'em so they can become good chefs and cooks and get jobs in those fields. He said, So when, when the Royal Hawaiian Hotel calls me and said, 'Hey, we need someone to help the sous chef, you got someone there?' He said, I send my best student. So maybe it's good they don't graduate. [Laughs]

He says, I think they got enough training. I send them there and after all, he says, isn't that what we're training them for? We're training them for gainful employment and here's an excellent chance. So I said, Oh. He taught me a lesson. It's not the graduation rate, but the end result. What are we trying to do? So I learned a lot from the community college faculty.


cooking education Shiro Matsuo

Date: March 19, 2004

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Mitchell Maki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

Interviewee Bio

Dr. Richard Hiromichi Kosaki (born September 14, 1924) was raised, educated, and has lived most of his life in Honolulu, Hawai`i. During World War II he served in the Military Intelligence Service, first as an instructor, then for several years in Japan as an interpreter during the Occupation. He graduated from the University of Hawai`i in 1948, then received his Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Returning to the University of Hawai`i to teach political science, he embarked on a distinguished career there that included positions as Vice President for Community Colleges, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Chancellor of the West Oahu College, Acting Chancellor for the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, and President of Tokai International University in Honolulu. Along the way, he helped found the East-West Center, and was the architect of the University of Hawai`i’s community college system. His favorite maxim is the cornerstone of his educational philosophy: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Dr. Kosaki is married to Mildred (Doi) Kosaki. Their son Randall was born in 1962. (March 19, 2004)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Teacher who helped with lisp

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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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

Politics in ethnic studies

(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

Center for Japanese American Studies in community

(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

Involvement with ethnic studies

(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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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Kids working hard

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

First day of school

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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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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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Training for football by carrying 100-lb bags of grass over mountains

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

Japanese school

(b.1924) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Interpreter for British Army in Japan after WWII. Active in Japanese Canadian community

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

Strict school policy of separating boys and girls in Japan

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

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Sam Naito
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Sam Naito

Growing up outside of Portland’s Japanese community

(b. 1921) Nisei businessman. Established "Made in Oregon" retail stores

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Seiichi Tanaka
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Seiichi Tanaka

Japanese musical education

(b.1943) Shin-issei grand master of taiko; founded San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1968.

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Alice Sumida
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Alice Sumida

Education in a Buddhist temple and a country school

(1914-2018) Founder of the largest gladiolus bulb farm in the United States.

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