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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/647/

Defining the term Nikkei

The term literally means Japanese descent. So anyone descending from Japanese parents or grandparents would be Nikkei. Whether the person is hapa, like our grandson Kenny, he would be Nikkei as I understand the term, so he would fit in. To me, as an American, I don’t like to be referred by the Japanese name like Nikkei. I would just like to assume and tell people that I’m a Japanese American. Or say I’m an American, and that’s what I am. As I said earlier, living in the United States I feel as American as any other American in the same way. The feeling of loyalty and dedication to the country. I have one hundred percent in my feelings in the term “American”. The term “American” means really someone born and raised in this country.


Americans hapa Hawaii identity Japanese Americans Nikkei patriotism racially mixed people United States

Date: May 29, 2006

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano

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

Interviewee Bio

Francis "FranK" Y. Sogi was born in Lanihau, Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i in 1923, the youngest of five children born to Issei parents who farmed vegetables, bananas and coffee.

Francis began studies at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) in 1941 at 18 years old, and—as required--served in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) to prepare for military service. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all R.O.T.C. students were inducted into the Hawai‘i Territorial Guard. However, he was soon discharged as being an “enemy alien,” and he returned to UH to continue his education. Men at UH with knowledge of the Japanese language were being recruited to join the United States Military Intelligence Service, so Francis volunteered and in 1944 was sent to Camp Savage and Fort Snelling, Minnesota, for training.

After serving in Japan, translating documents for the U.S. counterintelligence corps, he once again enrolled at UH in 1947. He completed his studies in 1949 and went on to Fordham Law School in New York City while his wife, Sarah, attended Columbia University. He passed the bar exam in December 1952 and was admitted to the New York state bar. In 1953, Frank was asked to serve at the Tokyo office of the law firm of Hunt, Hill and Betts and represented Fortune 500 companies doing license agreements, joint ventures and investments of all kinds. From 1959 - 1984 he was with Miller Montgomery Spalding & Sogi, and in 1984 he joined Kelley Drye & Warren until his retirement in 1993.

Because of their growing philanthropic interests, Francis and his wife Sarah created the Francis and Sarah Sogi Foundation, a charitable foundation that currently supports the work of several non-profit organizations.

He passed away on November 3, 2011(November 2011)

 

Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki
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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.

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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Nickname

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

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Context affects meaning

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

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James Hirabayashi
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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

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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

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

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Mike Shinoda
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Mike Shinoda

Connecting to Japan

(b. 1977) Musician, Producer, Artist

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Patriotism versus loyalty

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Feeling empowered by taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Sense of lineage between Sansei and Issei through Taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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Akira Watanabe
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Akira Watanabe

To be a Nikkei is a confluence of cultures (Spanish)

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

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Ann K. Nakamura
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Ann K. Nakamura

Image of Americans

Sansei from Hawaii living in Japan. Teacher and businesswoman.

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