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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/995/

The multicultural perspective

I think it’s more of a personal perspective because depending on where you are—maybe generationally. Here I am a fourth generation Japanese American on my father’s side. But, my mother having come from Japan, I’m sort of first generation from her side. So, I think whenever I compare myself to my peers and my friends, I’m very into Japanese culture, I think, because of my closer tie to Japan. And we still have relatives in Japan through my mother’s side. So, for me, community can be my Japanese American community. But I think in most contexts, it’s the multicultural community. Here, it’s so multicultural. I don’t think we’re as segregated in thinking because it’s multicultural. There’s a lot of marriages between the different nationalities and ethnic groups. So, we’re all blending.


communities families Hawaii identity United States

Date: July 9, 2004

Location: Hawaii, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen, Sojin Kim

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

Interviewee Bio

Kay Fukumoto, of Maui Taiko, continues a multi-generational family tradition of playing taiko at local, annual Obon festivals that began with her grandfather and great-grandfather and now includes her husband and son. Though the Maui Taiko group was formed officially in 1996, it has been operating informally on Maui, Hawaii for over 100 years.

In 1970, at the age of ten, Kay was the first girl to be allowed to play the taiko at an Obon festival on the island of Maui. She now leads Maui Taiko, which plays at 16 different temples during the Obon festival season. In 2001, she coordinated a trip for the group to perform taiko in Fukushima and Hiroshima, Japan. (July 9, 2004)

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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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Ethnic diversity

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

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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro
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Masakatsu Jaime Ashimine Oshiro

A Possible Path towards Happiness… (Spanish)

(1958-2014) Former Bolivian Ambassador to Japan

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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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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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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Working in the pineapple fields

Former First Lady 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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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

What is Nikkei? (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Learning from Nikkei (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Christian gatherings in homes

(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

Nickname

(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

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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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Context affects meaning

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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