INTERVIEW WITH CARRIE ANN INABA
From "Fly Girl" to Madonna's "Pole Dancer"
From "Fook Yu" to "Dancing with the Stars"
Our house was generally quite busy. We always had people over fishing or playing basketball. My mom and her girlfriends would play mah-jong, my friends would come over and we'd swim and lay in the sun. There was always music playing though out our home. And we'd always have parties and gatherings. But mostly, I found it a peaceful place…
US ASIANS: It's great that you have a wonderful family, what did your parent do (since they are divorced) that maintain a positive environment?
CARRIE ANN INABA: At the time, my parents were together. And really, they just raised us with love and support.
US ASIANS: How did a Japanese male in Hawaii meet a Chinese/Irish female from New York? It must be an amazing long distance love story?
CARRIE ANN INABA: They met in New York. And I don't know if they would call it an amazing long distance love story. My dad lived in New York for a while and worked in various banks and businesses to gain experience. My mom later moved to Hawaii to marry him. She went alone and married my father on the big island of Hawaii. I admire my parents who are both go-getters in life. They aren't afraid to "DO LIFE" and it shows in the way they married as well.
US ASIANS: If your Japanese father was raised in Hawaii, how did you adapt to the Japanese/Asian American environment on the Mainland (United States) - especially since the two cultures are so different?
CARRIE ANN INABA: I think people are slightly different where ever you go, since the environment and the history of each environment affects the people that live there. Since the Japanese American history on the Mainland is different from my own personal experience, I see some differences but not many. I actually don't really make such an issue of being Asian American from Hawaii, except to know that I am, and I'm proud of it. But it isn't all that defines me. If people accept me for who I am, I usually get along with them. If they want me to be something that I am not and stand for things I don't believe in then I'm not really interested in them.
US ASIANS: Could you share the great entrepreneurial successes of your Japanese father?
CARRIE ANN INABA: He was a successful business consultant for many years and now he has a wonderful business on the Big Island of Hawaii called, "FLUMIN DA DITCH" and another business called "HMV TOURS." (http://www.flumindaditch.com/) I think they are wonderful for him because he is where he loves to be…working with people, which he loves to do.
US ASIANS: How did she (your mom) manage being "strong" at work, but compassionate and focused on family in her personal life?
CARRIE ANN INABA: As I get older, I understand my parents more and more. This is especially true
US ASIANS: What were her (your Mom) responsibilities while she was in charge of community relations at the newly operational Hawaii Convention Center?
CARRIE ANN INABA: To help the community understand and accept the vision and the future prospects of the Hawaii Convention Center…the possibilities, the reality and all it may be if people came together to support it. She also had to field the negative responses as well. It was a tough job but I think she did a great job.
US ASIANS: How is she (your Mom) doing in New York
CARRIE ANN INABA: I think my mom is very happy now in New York. She really loves it there and is reconnecting with her own cultural ties with her Chinese culture.
US ASIANS: Could you share what your relationship is with your brother?
CARRIE ANN INABA: My brother and I weren't close when we grew up. Where we were very young we looked like Twins and he took good care of me. In fact, he gave me a teddy bear that I still have…He's falling apart now..but I can't throw him away because my brother gave him to me….and "he" (my teddy bear) has been my best friend for so long.
Anyhow, during our high school years, I attended Punahou and my brother, Iolani High School. We were automatic rivals. The different philosophies behind each educational facility made it difficult for us to get along.
Of course, I always tried….the younger sister who can't give up on winning her older brother's affections. Now as adults, we get along great. We laugh about our childhood, our scars and our strength from being raised in our household.
We talk at least once a week…we get frustrated with each other as well but we are always there for each other, without a doubt and I am grateful. Eventually, he respected me as a person, and I wasn't just the irritating little sister. I became a person who he respected and that means a lot to me and always will.