In his ongoing quest to understand the character of the Nisei in Hawai'i, the Rev. Ryokan Ara, Bishop of the Tendai Mission of Hawaii, learned that the Nisei generation had endured unusual and varying experiences. Those real-life experiences, he concluded, were instrumental in shaping the Nisei generation's character, leadership skills and foresight and were a catalyst in bringing about sweeping social, economic and political changes in postwar Hawai'i.
In the belief that the descendants of the Nisei generation, as well as youngsters everywhere, would benefit from reading about the experiences of the Nisei, Bishop Ara asked the Tendai Publication Committee to work on a new book for the "younger generation" that would explain the character values and lessons to be learned through the real-life experiences of the Nisei.
Of the essayists, Bishop Ara and the Tendai Publication Committee asked the following questions: What were the challenges that you faced, difficulties that had to be overcome and sacrifices you had to make to attain your goals? What were the values that sustained your determination to succeed and led you to become one of our leading figures in your chosen profession and as a citizen of Hawai'i? Who helped you along the way? What were the cultural values that profoundly impacted you?
Their answers to these questions will fascinate and inspire readers of all ages and ethnicities.
One of the treasures in Volume 3 is the transcript of a July 2012 "conversation" among the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye; U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye; former Gov. George Ariyoshi; the Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani, former Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii; former University of Hawai'i President Dr. Fujio Matsuda; attorney Ted Tsukiyama; former Consul General of Japan Yoshihiko Kamo and Bishop Ara in Sen. Inouye's Honolulu office. This "conversation" may have been Sen. Inouye's last opportunity to leisurely "talk story" with his contemporaries. He passed away five months later in Washington, D.C. In their conversation, Sen. Inouye shared many of the childhood and coming of age memories that shaped his life and principles.
In addition to the transcript of the "conversation," there are articles, essays and interviews by and about 16 notable Hawai'i Nisei, including retired Circuit Court Judge Herbert Shimabukuro; martial arts master Seichi Tabata; businessman Lionel Tokioka; former Kaua'i Community College Provost Y. David Iha; educators Yoshinobu Oshiro and Jane Serikaku; community leaders Lillian Yajima, Shimeji Kanazawa and Rose Nakamura; and higher education visionaries Dr. Fujio Matsuda and Dr. Richard Kosaki. The Rev. Dr. Wallace Fukunaga and arbitration attorney Ted Tsukiyama share a rare glimpse into another layer of their more public lives and social worker James Tanabe, the Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani and physician George Suzuki bring to light the valuable lessons they learned and utilized in their chosen careers.