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)

Kosaki,Richard
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Kosaki,Richard

Growing up in Waikiki

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Hirabayashi,Roy
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Hirabayashi,Roy

The philosophy of playing Taiko

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

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

Learning Japanese traditions by observing his mother and grandmother

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Kogiso,Mónica
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Kogiso,Mónica

Nihongo gakko - Preserving Japanese culture (Spanish)

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

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Mizuki,Peter
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Mizuki,Peter

Not wanting to stand out as a foreigner

Sansei Japanese American living in Japan and Kendo practioner

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Yamasaki,Frank
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Yamasaki,Frank

Have compassion for all of humanity

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

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Kogiso,Mónica
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Kogiso,Mónica

Identity crisis (Spanish)

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

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

Never sang Enka outside the family

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Kansuma,Fujima
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Kansuma,Fujima

Both Japanese and American identities though Japanese dance

(1918-2023) Nisei Japanese kabuki dancer

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

Coming to Japan

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Results of being more American than Japanese

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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

Trying to convey the meaning of the songs

(b. 1981) Enka Singer

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Endo,Kenny
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Endo,Kenny

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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Ota,Vince
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Ota,Vince

Different tension between East Coast and Los Angeles

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Tanaka,Seiichi
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Tanaka,Seiichi

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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