Kibei is the term for the generation of Nisei born in the U.S. but sent to Japan for education. When in Japan, the Kibei lived with grandparents or other relatives while their parents remained in the U.S. to work. Kibei often struggled to fit in both in Japan, where they were viewed as outsiders, and the U.S., where they were considered "too Japanese" by their Nisei peers. Because of their knowledge of both cultures and languages, the Kibei in particular were targeted by the government as "disloyal" during World War II. Ironically, the Kibei were heavily recruited for the Military Intelligence Service because of their linguistic abilities.
Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life experiences are similar to those who do identify themselves as ...