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COPANI 2013: "What is Nikkei?"


John Katagi

Country(ies): USA

Age: 61

Being Nikkei represents my identity as a person whose ancestry is Japanese but whose experience is North American. I've never been to Japan nor do I speak Japanese, so I don't have a connection with the heritage that is Japan. I am, however, very proud to identify myself as an American of Japanese ancestry, having a blending of cultural experiences that include all that both cultures offer: Lakers, sushi, tacos, Mark Twain, matsuri, Hollywood. Being Nikkei is to be rooted in community outside of Japan and yet having some connection to it, however vague or well-defined.

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John Katagi
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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation