Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/468/

Citizenship and identity

I don’t have any Japanese Americans friends that are here, but I do have friends from high school that are here. One is Konishiki. He was in the same high school as me—pretty much my senpai, my older which helps me out a lot. [He] gives me advice on a lot of things because he’s been here longer. He’s experienced the same thing. He’s changed his citizenship to Japanese. He has the same feeling as me. He’s American.

He tells me, “Oh you turn Japanese, you don’t have to pay”—something about taxes. The taxes are different for foreigners. And he says stuff like, “I got two passports now. When I go to Hawaii, I use my American passport. When I come to Japan, I use the Japanese one.” I don’t know how it works, but apparently to him, in his heart, he’s American—hasn’t changed. His name has changed to a Japanese name, but his friends and his family still call him Salevaa Atisanoe.


citizenship Finding Home (film) identity

Date: October 14, 2003

Location: Saitama, Japan

Interviewer: Art Nomura

Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

Interviewee Bio

Enson Inoue was born and raised in Hawai`i and attended college there for 3 years studying psychology. At age 23, he went to Japan to play racquetball in a two-week tournament without any intention of living there. He won the tournament and then stayed for 3 months to give racquetball seminars. Thereafter, he continued to live in Japan, intending to return to Hawai`i in a year. Enson, however, decided to stay for still another year, teaching English and running his brother’s racquetball company in Japan. He then became a boxer and gave up racquetball. At the time of the interview in Fall 2003, Enson had lived in Japan for thirteen and a half years and had not been back to Hawai`i for six years. Now he is a professional fighter with the ring name “Yamato Damashii (Japanese Spirit or Samurai Spirit).” As for his identity, he feels that although he is an American, his home is Japan. (October 14, 2003)

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