Japanese Americans (日系アメリカ人)
Japanese Americans are U.S. citizens who have roots in Japan. It often refers to the Japanese people who immigrated to the U.S. in the 19th century and their descendants.
According to the 2005 national census, there were 1,221,773 Japanese Americans, accounting for 0.4 percent of the whole population of the U.S., and this is the third largest number of Asian residents by country in the U.S. after Philippine and Chinese Americans. Large Japanese communities can be found in states of California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. At present approximately 7000 Japanese people a year immigrate to the U.S. and obtain U.S. citizenship.
Japanese Americans call the first generation who immigrated to the U.S. "Issei," their children "Nisei," "Sansei," and "Yonsei," but such words as "Issei" and "Nisei" can be used and understood in English. The common surnames among Japanese Americans are, in order of descending prevalence, Tanaka, Yamamoto, Nakamura, Watanabe, Sato, Yamada, Kimura, Suzuki, Kato, Yoshida, Takahashi, Kobayashi, Nakano, Hayashi, and Saito.
The first and second generations used Japanese as their first language, but as the generations went by, their first language was replaced by English, the local language, and so naturally the number of Japanese Americans who do not understand Japanese has been increasing. A small number of Japanese have had Japanese education in their families and Japanese schools in the countries where they live, but most of the third and fourth generations who can speak Japanese learned it as a foreign language. Even though Asian immigrant families, especially those whose mother tongues do not include English, often use other languages than English at home, more than half of Japanese immigrant families use only English at home, and if you include the families who use mainly English in this number, this proportion climbs to 3/4 of households, and Japanese families who use Japanese is as low as a half of the rate of non English speaking Asian immigrants using their native tongues at home. Unlike the second to third generations who kept striving to become Americans, young Japanese Americans today have the tendency to identify more and more with Japan, so the number of Japanese learners is increasing.
A relatively large number of the nisei (second-generation) unlike third or fourth generations, who were born during or after the war, understand Japanese, since many were born around the 1920s and it was popular among them to go to Japanese schools because of the need they perceived to continue Japanese culture and because education expenses in Japan were lower than that of their countries of residence; and some of them learned Japanese directly from their native Japanese parents.
Many of the Japanese who immigrated to North and South America were sent to concentration camps during World War II and many suffered severe discrimination for a short while even after the war. Some generations were not made by their parents to inherit Japanese culture because their parents, who were first or second generations, chose not to teach their children Japanese in order to show allegiance to their country of residence. Nevertheless, many Japanese signs can still be seen in Japanese residential areas such as around Waikiki on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii, in L.A.'s Little Tokyo, and in San Francisco's Japantown.
From early on, Japanese Americans often suffered from prejudice and discrimination, leading difficult lives, but they have worked hard and educated themselves well in order to be good American citizens. The issei (first-generation) especially worked hard under harsh labor conditions, though they used the money they earned for the education of their children, not for themselves. This led to the enhancement of the position of Japanese Americans in American society as generations went by, despite various obstacles due to racial discrimination including the Japanese American internment during the World War II.
Also, American society's trust in Japanese Americans (and therefore in Japan), which Japanese Americans had succeeded in fostering there, greatly helped Japanese companies gain trust from American society when they entered the American market during the period of rapid economic growth after World War II.
According to a recent American census, 'high income,' 'high education,' 'low unemployment rate,' and 'low poverty rate,' are considered characteristics of Japanese Americans. Of all these characteristics, the average income and education of Japanese Americans are a little bit lower than those of other Asian Americans, but significantly higher than the average white and the U.S. national average (Hispanics excluded), and the poverty rate of Japanese Americans is one of the lowest in all the races in the U.S.
However, Japanese in North America do not often gather in their ethnic towns or support each other, compared to Korean and Chinese immigrants. This is possibly related to the fact that Japanese Americans tried harder to assimilate into the countries in which they lived, not asserting their ethnicity, in order to show their allegiance to them. Few of the Japanese communities, that is Japanese towns, built before the war were preserved except in several places on the West Coast and most of them disappeared, because many of their former residents had to get rid of their real estate and property before they were interned, and even after returning at the end of the war, they found other people had already moved in, preventing them from reviving the aforementioned towns.
Shinnisei (New Second-generation Japanese)
It refers to the children of those who lived or have been living in the U.S. because of a family member's job transfer, who studied in the U.S., or who immigrated to the U.S. since the late 1970s, when Japanese companies started penetrating the U.S. market (Ex. Masi OKA, a Japanese American actor). Also it refers to the children who automatically became U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S., which has adopted the principle of birthright citizenship. They usually go to local Japanese schools and are brought up as if they were in Japan thanks to the advancement of media such as VCRs, the Internet, comics, and anime. They are sometimes referred to as 'Shinnisei' (new second-generation).
The history of Japanese Americans starts with their immigration at the end of the 19th century. The first Japanese immigrants went to the U.S. as laborers in sugar cane and pineapple fields in the State of Hawaii. Later many immigrants went to the U.S. from the mainland of Japan. However, they were disliked because of their fierce determination to survive as shown in their willingness to work for low wages and because they did not make contributions to the local economy (they imported daily necessities from Japan), which was part of the reason for a boycott against Japanese Americans in California. And after surviving the tragedy of Japanese American Internment during the World War II, they have seen the improvement of their position in American society since the 1960s.
Even though there are no specific records from the Edo era including names and births, records do show that Japanese women were trafficked by Chinese immigrants to the U.S. to work in U.S. brothels.
In 1841, a fisherman from Tosa Province by the name of Manjiro (later John Manjiro NAKAHAMA), lost in the middle of the ocean while fishing was rescued by an American whale ship at Torishima Island (Hachijo Division) and safely continued on to Hawaii, arriving in Massachusetts in 1843 and returning to Japan via California in 1851.
In 1850, Hikozo HAMADA (later baptized as Joseph Heco) was rescued after a shipwreck along with other 17 sailors by an American ship, and they safely continued on to San Francisco. In 1858, he became the first Japanese to obtain U.S. citizenship. Later he returned to Japan.
In 1861, a Japanese by the name of Kinzo SUZUKI travelled by boat to Portland, Oregon, and settled down there.
In 1866, the Tokugawa Shogunate lifted the ban on Japanese sailing abroad. Records show that magistrates of foreign affairs issued a license (equivalent to a passport) to acrobatic artists, who went to the U.S. as entertainers.
In 1868, Eugene van REED, a Dutch American, led 149 immigrants (153 according to a document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), who were called 'first-years,' to Hawaii. However, it was in fact a three-year labor contract held between the Tokugawa shogunate and a British broker, and it had no official recognition from the Meiji Government.
In 1869, without any permission from the Meiji Government, John SCHNELL, a merchant of weapons for the former Aizu Domain, led about 40 immigrants including former feudal retainers of the domain to Gold Hill in California and built the 'Wakamatsu Colony' for tea and sericulture production, which ended in failure after two years. Schnell fled, leaving the Japanese immigrants, and very little news about them was ever to emerge.
In 1869, about 40 of the 'first-years' returned to Japan before the three-year contract was fulfilled.
In 1871, the Empire of Japan and the Kingdom of Hawaii signed the treaty of amity with each other. The Meiji Government issued passports to those among the 'first-years' who wished to go to the U..S. mainland.
In 1872, the Japanese Consulate General was opened in New York.
In 1879, Tadaatsu MATSUDAIRA (the younger brother of Tadanari MATSUDAIRA, the last lord of Ueda Domain) immigrated to Colorado as an engineer after having studied in New Jersey.
In 1881, King Kalakaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii was the first head of a foreign country to visit Japan, where he met the Meiji Emperor and agreed to accept more Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.
In 1884, the Meiji Government officially permitted Japanese to go abroad. The first Japanese consulate office was established in Hawaii.
In January 1885, the first organized group of emigrants (944 people) recognized by the Meiji Government sailed to Hawaii as agricultural laborers.
In 1885, Kitaro SHIRAYAMADANI from Ishikawa Prefecture
He (mistaken as "Kataro" in English and so transmitted thus) was invited to Rockwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio, as an engineer.
In 1890, group immigration to the State of California started.
In 1891, the Union Pacific Railroad started hiring Japanese as laborers for the construction of railroads. The first Japanese immigration to Idaho and other states.
In 1893, the San Francisco Board of Education adopted a resolution to allow public schools to refuse admission to Japanese children (San Francisco Japanese Children Segregation). Sutemi CHINDA, Japanese Consulate General at the time, worked hard towards having the decision repealed.
In 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was established following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in the previous year, so government sponsored immigration became invalid and was abolished. In the 10 years until it was abolished, 26 ships with about 29000 Japanese emigrants made the crossing by boat. After that, immigration was sponsored by private brokers.
In 1898, Hawaii became U.S. territory. After this, immigration rules were relaxed for people moving from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.
In 1900, immigration to Hawaii sponsored by private brokers was stopped. Thanks to the brokers, in 6 years, about 35000 Japanese emigrated. After this, an open immigration was in place.
In 1900, for the first time in history, the number of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. mainland reached 10,000 a year.
Due to Japanese immigration in the decade of 1900, settlements started forming.
In 1901, the assemblies of the States of California and Nevada sent the federal government a proposal that Japanese immigration be restrained.
In 1902, Kyutaro ABIKO founded a human resources company for Japanese, 'Nihonjin Kangyosha' (Japanese Industrial Promotion Company) (later 'Nichibei Kangyosha' [U.S.-Japan Industrial Promotion Company]).
In 1902, Yone (Yonejiro) NOGUCHI (father of Isamu NOGUCHI) published the first book to be published in America by a Japanese, "The American Diary of a Japanese Girl."
In 1903, Kiyoki SAIBARA moved to the State of Texas, and succeeded in a rice cultivation enterprise set up there.
In 1905, the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League was founded in San Francisco and similar organizations were later established in other cities in other states.
In 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education ordered the forced transfer of Japanese children in public schools to local Chinese schools. Next year the order was repealed.
In 1906, the federal government amended the Naturalization Act. The U.S. Department of Justice issued directives to all the courts to reject naturalization applications submitted by Japanese.
In 1906, Kyutaro ABIKO founded the 'Yamato Colony' in Livingston, California.
In February 1907, a Presidential Directive banned Japanese living in Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada from moving to the U.S. mainland..
In 1907, the Japan Society was established in New York. Toyohiko TAKAMI founded the Japanese Mutual Aid Society.
In 1908, due to the seven exchanges of letters between the Japanese and U.S. governments since the previous year, the limitation of Japanese immigration based on the Gentlemen's Agreement took effect.
In 1908, the Japanese Association of America was founded in the State of California.
In 1908, the so-called "picture brides," who married Japanese men living in the U.S. after a mere exchange of pictures, started travelling to the U.S.
In 1911, in the State of Arizona, foreigners without U.S. nationality were banned from owning or leasing land for a period longer than a certain number of years.
The same law (the Alien Land Law of 1913) was enacted in the State of California in 1913. It banned members of the first-generation from purchasing and leasing land for a period longer than a certain number of years. In the same period, the State of Arizona banned members of the first-generation from leasing land regardless of the length of time. This regulation later spread to other states.
In February 1920, the Japanese government banned issuing passports for 'picture brides.'
In 1921, the U.S. Congress enacted the Quota Immigration Act.
In 1923, in the State of Washington, an amendment to the Alien Land Law banned Japanese minors with U.S. citizenship from owning land, so it became impossible to make second-generation minors land owners.
In 1924, due to the letter from Masanao HANIHARA, the U.S. Congress took on a hostile attitude toward Japanese, and the Immigration Act, 1924 (Japanese Exclusion Act) passed in May, and officially after July 1st, though in reality from June 24th onwards, Japanese immigration was totally banned and those who arrived in San Francisco Harbor on the 'Siberia' were the last Japanese immigrants to the U.S.
In the 1930s, finally Japanese in California and Hawaii started to lead economically stable lives.
In 1941, the U.S-Japan war started with the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Important people in Japanese communities were arrested.
On Fabruary 19, 1942, President Franklin ROOSEVELT issued Executive Order 9066. About 110,000 Japanese, including all the Japanese living on the West Coast and the majority of the Japanese living in Hawaii, were sent to concentration camps officially for the sake of 'national security' (Japanese American Internment).
In June 1942, the U.S. Army's 100th Infantry Battalion was constituted by Japanese soldiers from Hawaii.
On November 24, 1942, Mike MASAOKA and others submitted a petition to the U.S. War Department that a squad of second-generation Japanese be made, and it was accepted on January 28, 1943.
From December 5 to 6, 1942, a riot occurred at Manzanar War Relocation Center. The authorities suppressed the riot using force, and two internees were killed.
On February 10, 1943, the Application for Leave Clearance was distributed to the Japanese at concentration camps. Questions 27 and 28, the so-called 'Loyalty Registration' became subject of controversy.
In 1943, the 100th Infantry Battalion was deployed to Europe and fought on the front in Italy and France, where they were commended for their fierce fighting in various battles, such as that in Monte Cassino.
In 1944, the 100th Infantry Battalion was integrated into the 442nd Regiment, which consisted of Japanese volunteers.
In 1945, the 442nd Regiment received 18,143 medals and 9,476 Medals of Honor, becoming the squad who received the biggest number of medals in U.S. Army history. At the same time, the squad had a casualty rate of 314 percent, making it the squad that suffered the most injuries in the U.S. Army.
In 1946, 'The GI Fiancee Act' was enacted, which permitted Japanese women who were engaged to American soldiers in the Occupation Forces to enter the U.S.
In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act (MacCarran-Walter Act) was passed, which virtually abolished the Japanese Exclusion Act. For the first time in history, it became possible for first-generation Japanese (born in Japan) to obtain U.S. citizenship.
In 1956, the Alien Land Law of the State of California was rescinded.
In 1959, Daniel INOUYE from Hawaii, who was elected at the same time Hawaii became a U.S. state, became the first Asian Representative.
In 1962, Minoru YAMASAKI was selected as the designer for the World Trade Center (New York).
In 1963, Daniel INOUYE became the first Japanese Senator.
In 1965, Patsy MINK was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Hawaii, and became the first Asian and non-white female Representative.
In 1966, the Alien Land Law was rescinded in the last remaining state, Washington State.
In 1967, the new Immigration Act was enacted. The articles of legislation considered discriminatory against Asian immigrants including Japanese were rescinded.
In 1970, George ARIYOSHI took the position of the fourth Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii, the first Japanese Lieutenant State Governor.
In 1973, Norman MINETA was elected Mayor of San Jose, California, the first Asian American to become mayor of a major city.
In 1974, George ARIYOSHI took the position of the third Governor of Hawaii, the first Japanese Governor, serving for three terms, or 12 years (13 years and 2 months including the terms he was deputed as Governor during his Lieutenant Governor incumbency).
In 1978, Ellison ONIZUKA became the first Japanese astronaut. In 1986, he lost his life when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed.
In 1980, the U.S. Congress established the first ever commission on Japanese American Internment during the war.
In 1983, the Commission announced the conclusion that the Japanese American Internment during the war was not necessary for the sake of security.
In 1988, Ronald REAGAN signed the "Civil Liberties Act," deciding to apologize for the Japanese American Internment based on racial discrimination and to grant the survivors 20,000 dollars per person in compensation.
In 1992, Kristi YAMAGUCHI became the first Japanese American to win a Gold Medal for Ladies' Figure Skating at the Albertville Olympic Games.
In 1994, Mazie HIRONO became the first first-generation Japanese (Japanese-born) to be elected Lieutenant Governor.
In 1998, Chris TASHIMA became the first American-born Japanese American to receive an Academy Award.
In 1999. Eric SHINSEKI became the first Asian American to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
In 2000, Norman MINETA became the first Asian American to be elected as a member of the Cabinet.
Well-known Japanese Americans
Below, sections are not in any order, but in each section, the names are placed in last name order according to the Japanese alphabet.
if they belong to more than one section, they are categorized under the section they are better known for.
When their parents are from different generations, the generation of the paternal side is stated.
Omitted below are those who automatically had U.S. citizenship because they were born in the U.S. and chose U.S. nationality when they were obliged at the age 20 to choose, but who live mainly in Japan.
On the other hand, included below are those who did not (or could not) obtain U.S. citizenship after living in the U.S. for some time, spending more than half of their lives as permanent residents, i.e. 'virtual Americans.'
Second generation. Governor of the State of Hawaii (1974 - 1986). A democrat.
Second generation. Ken INOUE in Japanese. The current U.S. Senator from Hawaii. Former U.S. Representative. He was the first Asian American to be elected to the House of Representatives. A Democrat.
She was the first female Japanese American Republican to be elected for the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii. A Republican.
Second generation. Born in Canada. Former president of San Francisco State University. Former Representative from California. A main advocate for general semantics. A Republican (U.S.).
First generation. Keiko HIRONO in Japanese. Born in Fukushima Prefecture. The Representative from Hawaii. Former lieutenant governor of the state of Hawaii. A Democrat.
Second generation. A Representative. A Democrat. She took over the seat of her husband, Bob MATSUI (mentioned later) after his death.
Second generation. Former Representative. A Democrat.
Third generation. The Senator from Colorado. A Democrat.
Second generation. Former Senator from Hawaii. A Democrat.
Second generation. The former mayor of San Jose. Former Representative from California. Boasting many achievements as a politician, he was the first Asian American to be elected as a member of the Cabinet. He served as President Bill CLINTON's Secretary of Commerce from 2000 to 2001. He served under President George W. BUSH (Republican) as Secretary of Transportation from 2001 to 2006. A Democrat. In 2001, San Jose International Airport changed the official name of the airport to 'Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Air Port' in honor of him.
Third generation. Her maiden name is Takemoto. She was the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (1977 - 1978). She was the first non-white woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She worked hard to ensure enactment of the Sex Discrimination in Education Act. She was the first female lawyer from the State of Hawaii. A Democrat.
The legal professions
Third generation. He is an American Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. He presided over the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Second generation. He was a lawyer. He served as the attorney for Shigenori TOGO and Koki HIROTA in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
Third generation. He was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. He was the first Asian American to be promoted to the top position in the Army.
Second generation. He was a member of the 442nd Regiment during World War II. He was the first Japanese American to receive the Medal of Honor for his achievements.
Fourth generation. Lieutenant of the U.S. Army. He refused to deploy to Iraq, saying that the Iraq war was an illegal exercise of military force, and he contributed to the spreading anti-war sentiment. Currently he is being tried in military courts and is fighting public trials.
Third generation. From Seattle. A detective of the L.A. Police Department. The head of the Asian special investigation unit of the homicide division of the L.A. Police Department, and prosecutor for L.A. County. In the Kazuyoshi MIURA case, he shared command with Masahiro TERAO (former head of crime squad 1 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department) in the U.S.-Japanese investigation.
Deputy Chief of the L.A. Police Department.
Third generation. U.S. air force Lieutenant Colonel. The first Asian American astronaut of NASA. In 1985, he made the first flight on STS-51-C. In 1986, he died in the Challenger explosion.
Daniel M. TANI
Third generation. A space engineer. A NASA astronaut. In 2001, he made his first flight on the STS-108.
Japanese name: Toyohiko TAKAMI
Born in Kumamoto Prefecture. He went to the U.S. at the age of 15 by himself. He studied very hard and graduated 2nd in his class from Cornell Medical School, obtaining a doctoral degree in the medical sciences and a medical license. Later he became the first Japanese practitioner in the U.S. when he started working in Brooklyn, New York.
Since he was willing to see the poor for free, he earned himself enormous trust from people, and acquired a big name locally as 'Doctor Takami.'
In his later years, he worked hard for the welfare of his fellow Japanese by founding the Japanese Mutual Aid Society (the present day Japanese American Association of New York), purchasing a graveyard for underprivileged Japanese with no relatives, and organizing the Japanese Credit Cooperative.
First generation. Japanese name: Tsunetomi NOGUCHI. He went to the U.S. in 1952, and from 1961 onwards he worked for the L.A. County coroner's office. He served as Chief Medical Examiner for the office from 1967 to 1982. He is known for having performed autopsies on celebrities such as Marilyn MONROE and Robert KENNEDY. After leaving the position, he served as a professor in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
First generation. Born in Tokyo to a Japanese father and second-generation mother (the eldest daughter of Doctor TAKAMI). He went to the U.S. at the age of 15 by himself. He graduated from New York University Medical School as the top student, obtaining a doctoral degree of medical science and a medical license. He worked at Bethesda Naval Hospital and UCLA, and he became Chief of the Gastroenterology Division at the University of Michigan Medical School. He transferred to the pharmaceutical industry and became Chairman of Research and Development of Glaxo Smithkline. In 2000, he became President of the world health division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In September 2007, he was named Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the improvement of the investment environment for the pharmaceutical industry in Britain.
First generation. An economist (econometrics). A professor at Stanford University.
Second generation. A Physicist, a researcher on super string theory.
First generation. A physicist. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008. He is known as one of the founders of string theory.
C. J. PEDERSEN
Second generation. A chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987. His father is Norwegian, and his mother is Japanese.
Second generation. A political economist. His father is second-generation, his mother is first-generation Japanese.
Tetsuya FUJITA (meteorologist)
First generation. A meteorologist. He is known for his research on tornados and downbursts. He developed the Fujita Scale to differentiate tornado size.
Third generation. An international politics scholar. One of the Japanese policy advisors for the Clinton Administration.
First generation. Japanese name: Hiroaki AOKI. The owner of the restaurant, Benihama, and an adventurer.
A leader of the early Japanese immigrants in the State of California. He founded the Yamato Colony.
Fourth generation. An investor and author. He wrote, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad."
Second generation. He came up with the idea for chocolate covered macadamia nut candy and founded a business.
English name: Joseph Heco
The first to publish an English newspaper in Japan.
Third generation. The CEO of Airbus. The former director for Japanese Affairs Section of the United States Trade Representative Office.
An architect. He designed the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles) and others.
Second generation. An architect. He designed the World Trade Center (New York).
First generation. An avant-garde artist. The widow of John Lennon.
Second generation. An animator.
He became famous for designing the cartoon character of "SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU !"
Second generation. One of the most influential furniture designers in the 20th century. A father of the American craft movement.
First generation. A sculptor and painter. He made great achievements in modern American art history.
First generation. A photographer who kept on taking photos in the Japanese concentration camp during the war.
Third generation. A genius in the Independent film industry.
Third generation. In 1991, his short documentary film portraying the Japanese American Internment, "Days of Waiting The Life Art of Estelle Ishigo," received an Academy Award for best documentary short subject.
A screenwriter. She won an Academy Award for the Original Screenplay of "Letters from Iwo jima."
first generation. A Hollywood actor. Japanese name: Makoto IWAMATSU. He was known as Mako IWAMATSU in Japan. In 1966, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in "The Sand Pebbles."
Permanent resident. A Hollywood actress. In 1957, she was the first Asian actor to win the Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Sayonara." After that in the 60s, she was nominated for various awards such as the Tony Award and Emmy Award. She appeared in Time Magazine. She went to the U.S. at the age of 26, and then spent more than half a century there until her death, but she never obtained U.S. citizenship.
First generation. A Hollywood actor (and a full-time worker at Industrial Light & Magic). Japanese name: Masayori OKA. He became popular for his role in the TV series "HEROES." He was nominated for the Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award. He received a Saturn Award and People's Choice Award.
Third generation. A Hollywood actor. His real name is Dean George TANAKA. He played the role of Superman in the TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."
Second generation: An actor and TV star who mainly works in Japan. His mother is Taiwanese.
Second generation. A Hollywood actor. The younger brother of Kane KOSUGI.
A U.S. permenent resident. An action movie star who works in Hollywood. Japanese name: Shoichi KOSUGI. The father of Kane KOSUGI and Shane KOSUGI.
Second generation. Weightlifting at the Olympics: Silver. A professional wrestler. A Hollywood actor. He is famous for his role as the hitman who throws a murderous bowler hat in "007 Goldfinger."
Second generation. The first Japanese Broadway actor (1912).
Second generation. A Hollywood actor and singer. Chuichi NAGUMO in "Midway" and Corporate Executive Takagi in "Die Hard."
Second generation. A Hollywood actor.
Second generation. A Hollywood actress.
Cary Hiroyuki TAGAWA
Third generation. A Hollywood actor. His mother is a former Takarazuka Revue actress.
Second generation. A Hollywood actor. Famous for his performance of Hikaru SULU (or Mr. Kato) in "Star Trek." His mother is a second generation Japanese American.
His original name is Michael Anthony Sheridan. From New York. He has been working in Japan.
Third generation. A Hollywood actress. Born in Okinawa. Her mother is a second generation Japanese Filipino.
Permanent resident. Original name: Kintaro HAYAKAWA. He was one of the big stars in the Silent Era of Hollywood. He could not obtain U.S. citizenship because of the Japanese Exclusion Act, and later as the hostility toward Japanese among Americans increased he went to Europe. After the war, he went back to Hollywood and became a well-reputed supporting actor, receiving nominations for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in "The Bridge on the River Kwai" in 1957. He spent his later years in Tokyo.
Second generation. A Hollywood actor. In 1984, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance of Mr. Miyagi, a karate master in "the Karate Kid."
Broadcast and Media
Second generation. An NBC news anchor. Her mother is Japanese.
Second generation. She writes book reviews for the New York Times. She won a Pulitzer Prize.
Third generation. Former CNN Headline News reporter.
Second generation. Japanese name: Ikuko TOGURI.
The broadcaster who most strongly came to be identified as 'Tokyo Rose.'
Second generation. Her father is Iranian. A journalist. She was sentenced to an eight-year prison term for the charge of espionage.
Second generation. A top model who works in Paris Collection etc. The daughter of Hiroaki AOKI.
Third generation. A top model whose friendship with famous actresses gets continued public attention.
Unknown; said to be African, Indian, and Japanese. A rapper.
Original name Mark Ramos NISHITA. A keyboardist.
Third generation. A rock musician. A former guitarist of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Second generation. A jazz musician. The father of Hiroshi KAMAYATSU.
Second generation. A jazz trumpet player. The father of Ryoko MORIYAMA.
Third generation. A leading member of a rock band, Linkin Park.
Fifth generation. An ukulele player living in Hawaii.
Second generation. A singer who gained much popularity in the 1950s and 60s. She was on Time Magazine.
Unknown. A singer from California who works in Japan.
June KURAMOTO: First generation. Koto (Japanese harp).
Dan KURAMOTO: Third generation. Wind instruments.
Johnny MORI: Third generation. Wadaiko drums/ Percussion.
Danny YAMAMOTO: Third generation. Keyboard/Drums.
Hiroshima (musical producer) Hiroshima (The Ratt Pakk)
Unknown. Member of the Ratt Pakk. A hiphop music producer.
Unknown. Real name: Melody Miyuki ISHIKAWA. A singer from Hawaii who works in Japan.
Third generation. A rap musician who mainly works in Japan. A composer. An orchestrator. A music producer.
Fourth generation. A vocalist.
Second generation. A rock musician. The guitarist of Cinderella (band). His mother is Japanese.
Jake E. LEE
Second generation. A rock musician. Former guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne. His mother is Japanese.
Second generation. A rock musician. The son of John LENNON and Yoko ONO.
Second generation. The lead singer of Hoobastank. His mother is Japanese.
Second generation. Her father is Japanese. A singer from Hawaii who works in Japan.
Third generation. His grandmother on the maternal side is Japanese. His father and his grandfather on the both maternal and paternal sides are African Americans. An enka (Japanese ballad) singer who works in Japan.
Dan the Automator
A hiphop producer from the State of California. He is known for producing Gorillaz and Doctor Octagon.
(For the medals, only the highest awards for each game are mentioned; please refer to the description of each figure for details.)
Third generation. He was a extra-lightweight judo athlete. The Olympics: Silver.
Apolo Anton OHNO
Second generation. A short track speed skater. U.S. Short Track Speed Skating Championships: Gold; the Olympics: Gold; the World Championships: Gold.
First generation. A pair figure skater. U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Gold; the World Championships: Bronze.
First generation. A pair figure skater. U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Gold. She also won a Gold Medal for the Japanese Figure Skaing Championships before she obtained U.S. citizenship.
A swimmer (backstroke). He won a Gold Medal in the Helsinki Olympics.
Third generation. An decathlete. The Olympics: Silver; the World Championships in Athletics: Gold.
A weightlifter. He won a Gold Medal for weightlifting in the Helsinki and Melbourne Olympics.
Her maiden name was Michiko SUWA. First generation. Marathon. She won the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon. She is one of the pioneers in women's marathon.
Third generation. Major League Baseball pitcher.
Second generation. Major League Baseball shortstop.
Third generation. A volleyball player. The Olympics: Gold. He is a master of jump serving.
Fourth generation. Major League Baseball catcher.
Second generation (currently she has both Japanese and American citizenships). A figure skater. U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Gold.
Third generation. A horse racing jockey. He won the Breeder's Cup three times in a row.
Third generation. An outfielder in MLB.
Fifth generation. A golfer.
Darin Satoshi MAKI
Third generation. A professional basketball player (Member of BJ League, Tokyo Apache): L.A., California.
Motor sports. He is a driver for the Indy Racing League.
A professional basketball player (member of BJ League, Tokyo Apach): Oregon
Fourth generation. A figure skater. U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Gold; Olympics: Gold; World Figure Skating Championships: Gold.
Second generation. He was an outfielder of the Yomiuri Giants. He was the Manager of the Chunichi Dragons. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fourth generation (his father is a third-generation Japanese American, and his mother is an Irish American). He was the Manager of the Seattle Mariners.
An owner of horses. His horses have won in G1 races in various countries.
A chess player. The Grand Master.