Defining the term Nikkei

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The term literally means Japanese descent. So anyone descending from Japanese parents or grandparents would be Nikkei. Whether the person is hapa, like our grandson Kenny, he would be Nikkei as I understand the term, so he would fit in. To me, as an American, I don’t like to be referred by the Japanese name like Nikkei. I would just like to assume and tell people that I’m a Japanese American. Or say I’m an American, and that’s what I am. As I said earlier, living in the United States I feel as American as any other American in the same way. The feeling of loyalty and dedication to the country. I have one hundred percent in my feelings in the term “American”. The term “American” means really someone born and raised in this country.

Date: May 29, 2006
Location: Hawai`i, US
Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

american hapa identity nikkei patriotism

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