Discover Nikkei Logo

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/557/

Diverse membership in San Jose Taiko

We’re definitely more multi-mixed—multi-mixed (laugh). Racially mixed. So I cannot say now it’s exclusively Asian American or Japanese American. But going back to just the term, using Asian American, it was a time where we had also Filipino American who were a member that was very prolific in composing for San Jose Taiko. And it was the experience of Asians here in America that were finding that voice. We were exploring. We were discovering, too, where we could take that expression. Had to get a sense of self to really… I almost felt like this was a place for us to discover who we could be or who we are and that the people who were non-Asian coming into the group at the very early years had to respect that. They could not come in to water down the experience and expect anything else from what we were trying discover or generate.


California drum identity racially mixed people San Jose San Jose Taiko taiko United States

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)

Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki
en
ja
es
pt
Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

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

en
ja
es
pt
George Ariyoshi
en
ja
es
pt
George Ariyoshi

Ethnic diversity

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

en
ja
es
pt
Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
en
ja
es
pt
Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino
en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino

Interest in Japanese migration studies (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino
en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino

What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino
en
ja
es
pt
Masako Iino

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi
en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi

Nickname

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi
en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi

Context affects meaning

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi
en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

en
ja
es
pt
Steve Kaji
en
ja
es
pt
Steve Kaji

FOB's

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan. English Teacher at YMCA.

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Mike Shinoda
en
ja
es
pt
Mike Shinoda

Connecting to Japan

(b. 1977) Musician, Producer, Artist

en
ja
es
pt
Akira Watanabe
en
ja
es
pt
Akira Watanabe

What is Matsuri Daiko? (Spanish)

(b. 1974) Director of Ryukyu Matsuri Daiko in Peru

en
ja
es
pt
Mas Kodani
en
ja
es
pt
Mas Kodani

Appreciating Kinnara Taiko's approach to taiko

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

en
ja
es
pt
Mas Kodani
en
ja
es
pt
Mas Kodani

A Japanese American gardening dance

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

en
ja
es
pt

Discover Nikkei Updates

NIKKEI CHRONICLES #13
Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?
What’s in a name? Share the story of your name with our community. Submissions now open!
VIRTUAL PROGRAM
Nikkei Uncovered IV: a poetry reading
Join us virtually and enjoy poetry by Matthew Mejia, Christine Kitano, and Mia Ayumi Malholtra.
PROJECT UPDATES
NEW SITE DESIGN
See exciting new changes to Discover Nikkei. Find out what’s new and what’s coming soon!