What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) Well, in my definition of what “Nikkei” means nowadays, I believe Japanese-born people are included as well. It’s probably a matter of awareness. The original definition simply includes anyone born with some amount of Japanese blood in them. So the “Nikkei” of today have grown into quite a large group. When you call someone a Nikkei sansei or yonsei, not only can it mean that this person’s grandfather and grandmother were both Japanese; it can also mean that only the grandfather was Japanese, and this person would still be considered “Nikkei.” So it’s really a matter of awareness, isn’t it? Several generations later, even if people do have a Japanese ancestor from generations before, perhaps they wouldn’t consider themselves Nikkei at all. If you think about it that way, it sure seems like there’s a great difference in how each individual perceives what “Nikkei” means.

Date: October 7, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

identity nikkei

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation