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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/885/

Getting along with "Jichan" and "Bachan"

This thing of skipping a generation, I think as Sanseis we began to look more not at what the Niseis did but what the Isseis did. We wanted to communicate with jichan and bachan and found out that there was a very rich culture there where maybe the Isseis really didn’t transfer that or the Niseis didn’t pick up on it. Maybe they were too close, and they hated the parents because they were so strict. Any number of things where, as Sansei kids, maybe we were more spoiled by grandparents. So we have a closer relationship, and we want to know more. It was also this thing of finding more identity, who we are. This maybe be stereotype, but I think Asians do have a certain aesthetic sense. I think it comes from growing up in house where art things are around—calligraphy, pottery, baskets and bamboo things are displayed and used every day. They have function and beauty. It’s part of growing up, maybe.


generations immigrants immigration Issei Japan migration Sansei

Date: December 10, 2004

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen, Sojin Kim

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

Interviewee Bio

George Abe (b. 1944), renowned taiko and flute performer, was born at Manzanar concentration camp. He was one year old when his family relocated to Los Angeles, California. His mother was kibei, born in the city of Orange, California, moved to Japan when she was about nine years old, and returned to Los Angeles at about 26 years of age. His father was an Issei.

George grew up among artists and musicians, often attending biwa (lute) recitals with his mother. He played multiple instruments in his school band, including the clarinet, saxophone and oboe. As an adult, George remained fascinated with music, and learned to play the shakuhachi and fue, traditional Japanese flute-like instruments.

George was a founding member of Kinnara Taiko, a taiko group based at Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, and remains associated with them today. Kinnara Taiko was one of the first taiko groups to form in North America, second only to Sensei Seichi Tanaka’s San Francisco Taiko Dojo. George believes in the influential power of art and the energizing effects of taiko. He uses his art to bring cultural, spiritual and community awareness to others. (December 10, 2004)

Seiichi Tanaka
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Seiichi Tanaka

Understanding Sansei taiko (Japanese)

(b.1943) Shin-issei grand master of taiko; founded San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1968.

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Seiichi Tanaka
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Seiichi Tanaka

Soukou Bayashi: Dedicated to the Issei (Japanese)

(b.1943) Shin-issei grand master of taiko; founded San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1968.

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Mas Kodani
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Mas Kodani

The performing arts not for Nisei

Senshin Buddhist Temple minister and co-founder of Kinnara 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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Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
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Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

Her father as a typical Issei

(b. 1934) Writer

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Lou Kitashima
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Lou Kitashima

Changing demography of gardeners in Southern California

Sansei Gardener

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Paula Hoyos Hattori
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Paula Hoyos Hattori

Japanese language is the important aspect to keep identity (Spanish)

Sansei Argentinean

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Generational Gap (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Need generational change in Japanese community (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Bert Nakano
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Bert Nakano

Stripped of Pride

(1928 - 2003) Political activist

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Miyoko Amano
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Miyoko Amano

Yoshitaro Amano, Forced to Return to Japan by Prisoner of War Exchange Ship (Japanese)

(b. 1929) President of Amano Museum

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Toshiro Konishi
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Toshiro Konishi

Integrating As First-Generation Japanese-Peruvian (Japanese)

(b. 1962) Japanese restaurant owner and chef in Peru

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Toshiro Konishi
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Toshiro Konishi

Peru Representative vs. Japan Representative (Japanese)

(b. 1962) Japanese restaurant owner and chef in Peru

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Toshiro Konishi
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Toshiro Konishi

Thoughts on Japan (Japanese)

(b. 1962) Japanese restaurant owner and chef in Peru

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Toshiro Konishi
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Toshiro Konishi

Inspirations for Living Abroad (Japanese)

(b. 1962) Japanese restaurant owner and chef in Peru

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