Inspirations for Living Abroad (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) One reason I thought about moving abroad was Rocky Aoki. Rocky Aoki. Another reason was a racer named Tetsu Ikuzawa. And there was also a bullfighter named Mitsuya. He was the first Japanese bullfighter. I came across them from a book called “Boy’s Life” that I read as a kid. There was something about various interesting Japanese people. I thought that was amazing. Even now, the thing I think is amazing is the guy who became a bullfighter. It’s such a closed society. An Asian monkey-type person can’t do that…become a bullfighter. But that guy did it. You know it turns out he was second-generation Peruvian-Japanese.

I’ve had the chance to meet Rocky. Actually, I’ve met each of them. The guy named Mitsuya…his real name is Ricardo Higa. His Japanese first name is Mitsuya. I thought Mitsuya was his last name, but it was his first name. When he was still alive, he was the editor-in-chief of a newspaper. So their influence was extremely strong. When we were kids, too, we definitely had a desire to go overseas. That was especially true for the people of our generation.

One more thing was the dollar shock around 1972. Dollar shock. It went from 360 yen to 300 yen. And toilet paper disappeared from Japan. That’s how things were then. I thought things would work out if I put in the effort overseas.

Date: April 18, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

issei migration peru

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