Feeling of foreigness

Memories of the ship heading to the U.S. Thunder in Crystal City Kids activities in Crystal City Having a house at camp Having nowhere to go postwar Feeling of foreigness Working as a typist in the army Art helped him to feel less foreign in school First Boy Scouts troop in San Francisco Trip to Japan as a Boy Scout Playing basketball in the army Painting murals and signs in the army

Transcripts available in the following languages:

  • en

That's the only language I knew is Japanese, then, so it's kind of hard for us to live in the U.S.A. Our friends were all Nisei, they're Japanese Americans. And I was from Peru, so even going to school in San Francisco, I always felt that I was, like, I always felt like a foreigner. I had this thing, I would try to pretend that I was a Japanese American, although I wasn't. But inside, deep inside, I know I was different, and that was with me all through my life whenever... as I was growing up, I pretend like I'm being a Nisei, but I always had an accent, my English was... and I couldn't pronounce the word right. And so I'd try to not talk too much. So a lot of my friends didn't know I was from Peru.

I still do; it's still with me. So I try to, not to show that I'm a foreigner. I'm a citizen of the United States now, and that kind of makes me feel better, but always with me, as a foreigner. Even at school, always at school I had that in my mind.

Date: September 20, 2019
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda and Yoko Nishimura
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum and Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

foreigner identity japanese peruvian san francisco

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