Gil Asakawa
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

When I was a kid, I used to tell people who asked me what generation I was that I was “Ni-hansei,” or second-and-a-half. That’s because although my father was a Nisei who was born in Hawai‘i (a kibei, technically, because his family moved to Japan in 1940 and he was stuck there during the war . . . but that’s another essay), I was born in Japan.

My dad was in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and met my Issei mom in Hokkaidö when he was stationed there. My two brothers and I were all born in Tökyö — I’m a prime baby boomer, born in 1957. Our family moved to the states when I was 8 years old and my dad got a civilian job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C.

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