Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/555/

Sense of lineage between Sansei and Issei through Taiko

The relationship between the Sansei and the Issei, I think, were very similar in that with the Issei being adventurous to make that journey to a new world was something that I think we were trying to emulate, too. That freedom was the same feeling that we can easily communicate. And I think the special-ness of the Sansei respecting the fact that the Issei had come from Japan, and that was like we could see our origins right there. It was right in our face that we have to tend and care for them at the same time. You can almost see the sense of lineage.


generations identity immigrants immigration Issei Japan migration Sansei

Date: January 26, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen, Sojin Kim

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

Interviewee Bio

Patti Jo “PJ” Hirabayashi is among the most prominent women taiko players in the United States. Born and raised in Northern California, she attended Cal State Hayward where she became involved in Asian American movement activities before transferring to UC Berkeley. After graduation, she spent a year living in Japan before returning to San Jose where she was a graduate student in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University. While there, she became acting director of the school’s Asian American Studies Center. She wrote her master’s thesis about the future of San Jose’s Japantown.

Hirabayashi joined San Jose Taiko in January 1974 as a charter member of the group. She is now the creative director of the ensemble, and she draws inspiration from the Asian American civil rights movement. She performs, trains, teaches, develops repertoire, tours, holds public workshops and conducts school outreach programs.(January 26, 2005)

Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi
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Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi

Looking at your country from the outside

(b.1942) Japanese American ceramist, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years.

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Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi
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Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi

Wife's family in Japan

(b.1942) Japanese American ceramist, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years.

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Takeshita,Yukio
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Takeshita,Yukio

Lack of notion of citizenship in Japan

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

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

Lack of language skills

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

Preserving traditional Japanese culture

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

Having patience in Japan, being both

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Glaser,Byron
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Glaser,Byron

Supporting art because it's essential

Illustrator and designer

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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto
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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto

Being on the outside

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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Yonamine,Wally Kaname
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Yonamine,Wally Kaname

His parents' experience with Japanese resistance toward intermarriage with Okinawans

(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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Yonamine,Wally Kaname
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Yonamine,Wally Kaname

Working in cane fields as teenager, and how it helped in his athletic training (Japanese)

(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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Matsumoto,Roy H.
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Matsumoto,Roy H.

Nickname

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki
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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki

Her father as a typical Issei

(b. 1934) Writer

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Matsumoto,Roy H.
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Matsumoto,Roy H.

Mixed emotions after declaration of war on Japan

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Abe,George
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Abe,George

Honing Artistic Talent at Camp

(b. 1944) taiko and flute performer

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Abe,George
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Abe,George

Getting along with "Jichan" and "Bachan"

(b. 1944) taiko and flute performer

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