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Family first

Well you know, they know…my wife and I always stress family is first and then…the reason why I say that is because when you go into a family business, if you fight with your siblings, or your brothers, your sisters, you know when you fight with somebody but you’re also not friends. But this…a lot of different situations that I don’t know and some people come up with that they don’t know. So basically it should be family first even though you don’t stay together, you always got to protect each other. That’s more important than the business or money. Because what you earning the money for? Your family, right?


families

Date: June 1, 2006

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano

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

Interviewee Bio

Bert A. Kobayashi, founder of the Kobayashi Group LLC, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 10, 1944. He is a third generation Japanese American whose parents were also born and raised in Hawai‘i. At the age of 19, his father Albert fell ill and Bert was suddenly introduced to the difficult realities of running a business when he took over the construction company founded by his father. Bert eventually guided the business to become the largest local construction company in Hawai‘i, selling the business to a group of employees in 1997. He then founded the Kobayashi Development Group, serving as chairman until his retirement, and continues to be an advisor to the company led by his son, B.J. Kobayashi, who serves as CEO and president. Bert is known throughout the state of Hawai‘i for his generous philanthropic efforts such as starting the University of Hawai‘i Foundation and has been an active member on numerous community and educational boards. (2007年3月1日)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Spending time with children

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

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Getting married

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Possibility of being adopted by aunt

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Little interaction with parents

(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

Gordon's parents' experience in prison

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

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Clothes of plantation workers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Surviving after father's death

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Washing for Filipino bachelors

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Brother leaves for war, survival

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Doing chores

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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

Wife's family in Japan

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

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Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

New Year's food

(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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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama
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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama

Food growing up

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

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