Alden M. Hayashi

Alden M. Hayashi is a Sansei who was born and raised in Honolulu but now lives in Boston. After writing about science, technology, and business for more than thirty years, he has recently begun writing fiction to preserve stories of the Nikkei experience. His first novel, Two Nails, One Love, is scheduled to be published in September 2021. His website: www.aldenmhayashi.com.

Updated August 2021

identity en

Nikkei Chronicles #10—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities

What Nobody Can Take Away

My Nisei mother was an attractive woman but she wasn’t materialistic. In fact, she was almost fervently anti-materialistic. She would spend money on stylish clothes only when she absolutely had to, for instance, to look her best for an upcoming family wedding. And I don’t think she ever bought a single piece of jewelry for herself. Anything really nice that she owned was given to her either by her family or other relatives. And even then she wouldn’t allow herself the full pleasure of wearing or using those items. For her birthday once, I had an elegant blouse custom made …

Read more

identity en

Finding My Way Home

When I was in my twenties, struggling to find my way through life, I very much identified as a gay man. At the time, being Japanese American was more like a minor footnote of my existence, much to the considerable consternation of my Nisei parents. My father, who was then president of the Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjinkai, must have been particularly disappointed that I showed so little interest in my ethnic and cultural heritage.

I think that my strong identification with being gay had much to do with the AIDS epidemic. As a young gay man, I felt so vulnerable, with …

Read more