“Junior Issei” (Japanese)

Birthplace My image of America as a child (Japanese) Longing to be an imperial soldier as a youth (Japanese) Boarding house life and the Issei (Japanese) My father’s venture into the hotel business (Japanese) (Japanese) My children’s education Luckiest Issei The situation after the war (Japanese) “Junior Issei” (Japanese) Working in America Struggles with English (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) For the first half of my life in America, I walked the exact same path as the Issei; I think I’ve done the same kind of things as the them. For the first 15 years, even after I got married and had three children, for over ten years until my father died, I continued to send money home. So, no matter how hard I worked, I had almost no savings. My three daughters in elementary school – and I as well – never had any fun memories of vacation or anything like that.

So, for me, you could say the Kibei are “junior Issei”. That’s where I place them.

Like the Issei, I’ve done everything – from gardener’s apprentice to houseboy, from truck driver to vendor at a tiny shop. I worked by doing things that were around me, one after another. Because of that, I couldn’t really go to school. No, not “I couldn’t really go”; I didn’t go at all. So, the same went for studying English. This is my failure – that I didn’t go to school. 

Date: January 31, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki, Yoko Nishimura
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

issei Jr. Issei kibei

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