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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/985/

First election

I was in a sense, a rebel. I was active in the YMCA. I was in a class made up almost all of officers, student body officers, class officers, the editors of the newspaper, editors of the book and all of this. And on the first day when the class organized, they always have an election of chairman of the class, and I’m sitting down, you know [thinking] hey, I’m not a player in this, they’re the big-shots, you know, they are the necktie boys, I used to call them, and some of them wore jackets too. And all of a sudden somebody stood up and nominated me and another person said, “I close the nomination,” and they giggled. They made me the chairman of the class; they thought it was a big joke. You know, the others are the so-called professionals.

And the day ended and the teacher called me in and he said, “I knew what happened and I am ashamed of the people, you know, making fun of you.” He said, “This is the Robert Rules of Conduct, parliamentary rules.” He says, “Study this and then about a week from now we will discuss this. And so the next month when we have our first class meeting, you show them how it’s done.” (laughs)

So this [is] the first time I learned of parliamentary procedures, I had no idea what it was. And I could care less. And I did surprise a few of them, put them out of order and everything else and they began to show some respect.


education governments politics

Date: May 31, 2001

Location: California, US

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

Interviewee Bio

Senator Daniel K. Inouye was born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and at the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Following the Rescue of the Lost Battalion, Senator Inouye was awarded a Bronze Star and received a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant. Later, in intense fighting in Italy, Senator Inouye lost his right arm from an exploding grenade. For his action that day, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award for military valor.

Following the war, Senator Inouye became Hawai‘i’s first representative in Congress when Hawai‘i achieved statehood in 1959. In 1962 he was elected to the United States Senate and has been re-elected every six years since then. Senator Inouye, a Democrat, was the first American of Japanese descent to serve in either House of Congress.

In 2000, Senator Inouye and 20 other Asian American veterans were honored in a ceremony at the White House. The medals they had earned in World War II were given a long-overdue and deserving upgrade to the Medal of Honor.

He passed away on December 17, 2012 at age 88. (December 2012)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Teacher who helped with lisp

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

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Being fair

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

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Role of Hawaii internationally

(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

Tree planting

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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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

Politics in ethnic studies

(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

Center for Japanese American Studies in community

(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

Involvement with ethnic studies

(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

Relationship with S.I. Hayakawa

(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

Past ties to present situation in Middle East

(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

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

(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

Kids working hard

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

First day of school

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

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

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

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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Training for football by carrying 100-lb bags of grass over mountains

(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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