Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/719/

Nikkei vs. Nisei (Spanish)

(Spanish) As a kid I felt not just Nikkei, I felt Nisei. I distinguish between the two because, in reality, the second generation is still very tied to the first generation that immigrated. Therefore, in my case, I feel that I had more of a sense of being Nisei. In fact, back then, all the descendents of Japanese were Nisei. Nowadays it’s Nikkei because there are also Yonsei, Gosei. So that’s how I felt the way I did as a kid, and, as such, naturally there were good and bad things about it, because in the post-war period Japan still wasn’t a country that people respected as much as they do today. So, we did feel those effects, the Nikkei of that time. But today, for example, those same Nikkei from that time feel differently. I myself feel different actually. Why? Because whether you’re Nisei or any other generation, I think the integration into Chilean society or with Chilean culture is much greater. And taking advantage of our knowledge of both sides, a lot of times one can do things in the professional realm or the business realm that benefits both sides, and I think that’s an interesting advantage.


Chile generations Hawaii identity Japanese Americans Nikkei Nisei United States

Date: October 7, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

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

Interviewee Bio

Roberto Hirose was born in Quillota, Chile on August 8, 1950. He spent his childhood in an agricultural environment where he met a variety of the local Japanese in Chile. He attended school in Quillota and later in Copiapó. In Copiapó, he had the opportunity to meet people from Japan who had come to the mining area of Chile for work. He studied electrical engineering at La Universidad de Chile, in Santiago (1968-1973). Subsequently, he was awarded a six month scholarship by the Ministerio de Educación de Japón to study Japanese at the University of Foreign Languages in Osaka, and research electrical engineering at the University of Hiroshima for one year. For over a decade, Roberto worked in the machinery department at Mitsui Chile Ltda. In 1986, he worked at Industrias Vinycon (as a manufacturer of industrial fishing materials). In 2002, he managed the diversification of Vinycon in northern Chile, specifically in Caldera, where he directed an agricultural center for the cultivation of abalone. In regards to Nikkei activities in Chile, Roberto actively participated in the Sociedad Japonesa de Beneficencia from 1968 to 1986. Afterwards, he became involved with the Corporación Nikkei de la Región de Valparaíso (formerly the Agrupación Nikkei de Valparaíso) of which he is still a part of today. (May 2, 2007)

PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Learning from and appreciating the Nisei experience

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Diverse membership in San Jose Taiko

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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

Looking at your country from the outside

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

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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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Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Lack of notion of citizenship in Japan

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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Akira Watanabe
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Akira Watanabe

Generational Change (Spanish)

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

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Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

Lack of language skills

(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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Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

Preserving traditional Japanese culture

(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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Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

Having patience in Japan, being both

(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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Byron Glaser
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Byron Glaser

Supporting art because it's essential

Illustrator and designer

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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama
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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama

Being on the outside

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

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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

His parents' experience with Japanese resistance toward intermarriage with Okinawans

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Working in cane fields as teenager, and how it helped in his athletic training (Japanese)

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Nickname

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

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

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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