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Nisei (二世, literally, "second generation") is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America and South America to name the children born to Japanese people who immigrated. The emigrants or immigrants who were born in Japan are called Issei; and their children born in the new country are called Nisei (second generation). The grandchildren of Issei are called Sansei (third generation).[1]

The character and uniqueness of the Nisei is recognized in its social history.[2]

History[change | change source]

The children of these Japanese-Brazilian (Nipo-brasileiros) immigrants would be called Nisei.

The earliest organized group of Japanese emigrants settled in Mexico in 1897.[3]

Imigration to Brazil began in 1908. Today, the community which grew from the Nisei children has become the largest Japanese emigrant population outside of Japan, including approximately 1.5 million Brazilians.[4] Other communities of Nisei grew up in the United States,[5] Canada,[6] and Peru.[7]

The use of the term Nisei was modeled after an Issei pattern or template. In the 1930s, the term Issei came into common use. The word replaced the term "immigrant" (ijusha). This change in usage mirrored an evolution in the way the Issei looked at themselves. The label Issei also included the idea of belonging to the new country.[6]

Cultural profile[change | change source]

The term Nikkei (日系) was created by sociologists in the late 20th century. The Nikkei include all of the world's Japanese immigrants and their descendants.[8]

The Issei were born in Japan, and their cultural perspective was primarily Japanese; but they were in America by choice.[9] Their Nisei sons and daughters grew up with a national and cultural point-of-view that was different from their parents.

Although the Issei kept an emotional connection with Japan, they created homes in a country far from Japan.[10] The Nisei had never known a country other than the one into which they were born.

Generation Cohort description
Issei (一世) The generation of people born in Japan who immigrated to another country.[11]
Nisei (二世) The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Australia, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan either to at least one Issei parent.[11]
Sansei (三世) The generation of people born to at least one Nisei parent.[11]
Yonsei (四世) The generation of people born to at least one Sansei parent[11]
Gosei (五世) The generation of people born to at least one Yonsei parent[12]

The Issei, Nisei and Sansei generations reflect distinctly different attitudes to authority, gender, non-Japanese involvement, and religious practice, and other matters.[13]

Select list of notable Nisei[change | change source]

This list is not finished; you can help Wikipedia by adding to it.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. The generation names come from the numbers "one, two, three" in the Japanese language. The first three Japanese numbers are "ichi, ni, san. The fourth number is "yon".
  2. Numrich, Paul David. (2008). North American Buddhists in Social Context, p. 110.
  3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan-Mexico Foreign Relations; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  4. MOFA, "Japan-Brazil Relations"; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  5. Sakata, Yasuo. (1992). Fading Footsteps of the Issei, p. 1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 McLellan, Janet. (1999). Many Petals of the Lotus: Five Asian Buddhist Communities in Toronto, p. 36.
  7. "Fujimori Secures Japanese Haven," BBCNews, 12 December 2000; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  8. Japanese American National Museum, "What is Nikkei?" Archived 2009-05-03 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  9. Smithsonian, "The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942 - 1946", Yoshitsuchi Ikemoto Archived 2013-02-25 at the Wayback Machine; excerpt, "... one of hundreds of Issei (first-generation) 'bachelor' laborers who were unable to send for their wives or a picture bride because the U.S. government cut off all immigration from Japan in 1924"; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  10. Yenne, Bill. (2007). Rising Sons: The Japanese American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II, p. xv.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Issei" Densho Encyclopedia; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  12. Ikezoe-Halevi, Jean. "Voices of Chicago: Day of Remembrance 2006," Discover Nikkei (US). October 31, 2006; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  13. McLellan, p. 59.
  14. DiscoverNikkei: Fujimori bio Archived 2012-08-02 at; retrieved 2011-05-17
  15. Ferreira, Lenilson. "Son of conservative Japanese a star in Brazil's new leftist administration," Archived 2012-10-17 at the Wayback Machine Japan Times. December 24, 2002; retrieved 2012-12-3.
  16. Gomez-Granger, Julissa. (2008). Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008, "Hajiro, Barney F.," p. 8-9 [PDF 12-13 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  17. Gomez-Granger, CRS RL30011, p. 9 [PDF 13 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  18. Gomez-Granger, "Hayashi, Joe," pp. 9-10 [PDF 13 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  19. Gomez-Granger, "Hayashi, Shizuya," p. 10 [PDF 14 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  20. Japanese American National Museum (JANM): William Honri bio Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine; Martin, Douglas. "William Hohri Dies at 83; Sought Money for Internees," New York Times (US). November 24, 2010;retrieved 2011-05-17
  21. Gomez-Granger, "Inouye, Daniel K." pp. 10-11 [PDF 14-15 of 44];, "Inouye, Daniel K."; Cillizza, Chris. "Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye dies at age 88," Washington Post. December 17, 2012; retrieved 2012-12-17.
  22. Hokama, Ricardo G. "Carlos Kasuga: 'Everything That You Do, Do It well'," DiscoverNikkei. 23 April 2009; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  23. Gomez-Granger, "Kobashigawa, Yeiki," p. 12 [PDF 16 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  24. DiscoverNikkei: Kochiyama bio Archived 2008-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  25. Svinth, Joseph R. (2000). "Tommy Kono". Physical Training.
  26. Gomez-Granger, "Kuroda, Robert T.," pp. 12-13 [PDF 16-17 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  27. Yenne, Bill. (2007). Rising Sons: The Japanese American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II, pp. 1376-141; Kuroki is the only Japanese-American known to have participated in air combat missions in the Pacific during WWII
  28. University of Utah, Mike M. Masaoka Photograph Collection, bio
  29. DiscoverNikkei: Matsunaga bio Archived 2005-12-19 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2011-05-17
  30. US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, Korean War"; retrieved 2012-12-13.
  31. DiscoverNikkei: Mineta bio Archived 2013-04-15 at; retrieved 2011-05-17
  32. "A Nisei in the NBA: The Wat Misaka Story". 2008-08-29. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  33. "Pat Morita, 73, Actor Known for 'Karate Kid' and 'Happy Days,' Dies", The New York Times, November 26, 2005
  34. Gomez-Granger, "Moto, Kaoru," p. 13 [PDF 17 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  35. Tamashiro, Ben H. "The Congressional Medal of Honor: Sadao Munemori," The Hawaii Herald, March 15, 1985; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  36. Gomez-Granger, "Muranga, Kiyoshi," pp. 13-14 [PDF 17-18 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  37. Gallagher, Jack (2007-10-14). "Young star Nagasu has priorities in order". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  38. Gomez-Granger, "Masato, Nakae," p. 14 [PDF 18 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  39. Gomez-Granger, "Nakamine, Shinyei," pp. 14-15 [PDF 18-19 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  40. Gomez-Granger, "Nakamura, William K.," p. 15 [PDF 19 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  41. Saxon, Wolfgang. "George Nakashima Is Dead at 85; Designer and Master Woodworker," New York Times (US). June 18, 1990
  42. Gomez-Granger, "Nishimoto, Joe M.," pp. 15-16 [PDF 19-20 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  43. Gomez-Granger, "Ohata, Alan M.," p. 16 [PDF 20 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  44. Gomez-Granger, "Okubo, James K.," pp. 16-17 [PDF 20-21 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  45. Gomez-Granger, "Okutsu, Yukio," p. 17 [PDF 21 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  46. Gomez-Granger, "Ono, Frank H.," pp. 17-18 [PDF 21-22 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  47. Gomez-Granger, "Otani, Kazuo," p. 18 [PDF 22 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  48. Gomez-Granger, "Sakato, George T.," p. 19 [PDF 23 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  49. Murata, Alice (February 2006). "Shinkichi Tajiri : World Renown Sculptor". Chicago Japanese American Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  50. Gomez-Granger, "Tanouye, Ted T.," pp. 20-21 [PDF 24-25 of 44]; retrieved 2012-11-26.
  51. "Stories About USMS Swimmers: Yoshi Oyakawa". Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  52. George Takei Biography (1937-)
  53. Hadley, Jane (September 13, 2001), "Seattle architect created trade center as peace symbol", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Internment of Japanese-Canadians at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Japanese American internment at Wikimedia Commons