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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/496/

What does Nikkei mean to you? (Spanish)

(Spanish) It’s a pretty tricky question, you know, but I think being Nikkei means much more than having Japanese parents or ancestors. Being Nikkei means having a responsibility to carry within one’s self two concepts, two cultures that are totally opposed, but that we have to work with and learn to bring together, so that their values – everything positive that each culture offers – can manifest in our lives. That’s what I think it means to be Nikkei.


Hawaii identity Japanese Americans Nikkei United States

Date: October 7, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

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

Interviewee Bio

Alfredo Kato was born in Cañete, Peru, on November 12, 1937. During World War II, his family lived in Cañete, but his father moved them to a mountainous region called Lunaguara. In 1947, they returned to Lima. At that time, Nikkei were not allowed to gather in public, so he attended Japanese school clandestinely.

He studied at la Universidad Católica and has been a journalist for 44 years. Currently, he is director of the Japanese Peruvian newspaper, Perú Shimpo and professor at the Universidad de San Martín de Porres. (October 7, 2005)

Roy Hirabayashi
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Roy Hirabayashi

The philosophy of playing Taiko

(b.1951) Co-founder and managing director of San Jose Taiko.

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

Learning Japanese traditions by observing his mother and grandmother

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Activities growing up in Peru

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Mónica Kogiso
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Mónica Kogiso

Nihongo gakko - Preserving Japanese culture (Spanish)

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

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Peter Mizuki
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Peter Mizuki

Not wanting to stand out as a foreigner

Sansei Japanese American living in Japan and Kendo practioner

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Have compassion for all of humanity

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Mónica Kogiso
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Mónica Kogiso

Identity crisis (Spanish)

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

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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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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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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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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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Seiichi Tanaka
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Seiichi Tanaka

Differences between American and Japanese taiko

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

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