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Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit

Hawaii Nikkei Culture


The Hawaii Nikkei still preserve Japanese values instilled by the Issei. The Nisei demonstrated these values as they volunteered and served in battles in Europe and the Pacific during World War II.

Nisei soldiers returned to Hawaii to live exemplary lives as solid citizens and patriots, helping to shape the Hawaii of today. Generations of Nikkei have perpetuated these values.

Over the years, Japanese cultural values have melded with those of other ethnicities in Hawaii to form a hybrid culture, the Hawaii Nikkei culture.

(Debt of Gratitude)

Obligation, being indebted to others for their kindness, favor, care and help. It is a debt of gratitude that is lifelong.


Shame extends to the family and serves as a deterrent for unacceptable behavior. Children of Japanese families are reminded never to bring shame to the family.

(Quiet Endurance)

The acceptance of and ability to deal with life’s adversities. It is maintaining one’s dignity and honor with diligence and perseverance.


Persistence and steadfastness toward a purpose or course of action.