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Talking with Grandmother

My grandmother used to baby-sit me when I was a little kid and we’d spend the whole day together she’d speak to me in Japanese and I’d speak to her in English and neither one of us had any idea what the other was saying but somehow we talked all day long.


families hapa languages racially mixed people

Date: February 7, 2000

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Johnnie James Morton, Jr. was born in Inglewood, CA in 1971, the son of an African American father and Japanese American mother. As a child, he attended Saturday Japanese school in Gardena for three years. Growing up in Torrance, California, he graduated from the University of Southern California after a distinguished career as a student athlete on the Trojan football team.

Morton is a twelve-year veteran in the National Football League and currently plays wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. He has done some modeling and acting work, including an appearance playing himself in the film Jerry Maguire. (August 10, 2005)

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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Chad Morton
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Chad Morton

Benefits of his multiracial background

(b.1977) Professional football player.

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Eric Morton
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Eric Morton

Addressing multiracial identity can be difficult

Starred at wide receiver for Dartmouth College, now a patent attorney. Brother of Johnnie and Chad Morton.

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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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