Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/655/

To be “100 % Japanese”

When my second son was 4 years old, my wife took him to Boston and they were standing in line to have ice cream and this elderly white lady was looking at him and she was kind of puzzled to see what nationality he was. She said, “Little boy, what are you?” He said, “Oh…” She said, “Little boy, what’s your name?” He said, “Patrick.” She said, “Oh that’s a Irish name.” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Are you…what race are you?” And he didn’t understand that. “What are you?” He said, “I’m a boy.” “No, what are you?” “I’m Japanese Irish because I’m 4, but when I’m older, I’ll be a 100 percent Japanese.”


hapa identity Irish Japanese Americans racially mixed people

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)

Matsumoto,Roy H.
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Matsumoto,Roy H.

Nickname

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Matsumoto,Roy H.
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Matsumoto,Roy H.

Mixed emotions after declaration of war on Japan

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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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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