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Learning from and appreciating the Nisei experience

Thinking that the Nisei weren’t really addressing the needs of the community in such a way that the Sansei, at least progressive Sansei, were looking at the community. I almost placed them as almost apathetic. I have to say that my realization about the Nisei kind of came to be where I can really appreciate that generation was when we could really get into the internment and the reparations movement. The stories of their hardships and growing up, I could really understand. I misplaced my feelings toward them in a negative that made my kind of open up into a different way of looking at the situation.


generations Nisei

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)

Mas Kodani
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Mas Kodani

The performing arts not for Nisei

Senshin Buddhist Temple minister and co-founder of Kinnara Taiko.

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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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Roberto Hirose
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Roberto Hirose

Nikkei vs. Nisei (Spanish)

(b. 1950) Nisei Chilean, Businessman

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Generational Gap (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Need generational change in Japanese community (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Nikkei identity (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Doris Moromisato
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Doris Moromisato

The myth of the sacrifice of immigrants (Spanish)

(b. 1962) Peruvian Poet, Okinawan descendant

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Frances Midori Tashiro Kaji
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Frances Midori Tashiro Kaji

Discrimination for Nisei doctors

(1928–2016) Daughter of an Issei doctor 

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Howard Kakita
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Howard Kakita

Nisei Parents

(b. 1938) Japanese American. Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor

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