Stuff contributed by aldenmhayashi

A Profound Silence

Alden M. Hayashi

One of the most famous—if not the most famous—works in classical music is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The opening of that masterpiece is iconic. There’s silence, and then those explosive four notes: ta, ta, ta daaannnnn! When I first played the symphony, our conductor emphasized that the most important part of …

Unlocking Family Mysteries

Alden M. Hayashi

Ever since I could remember, a large, colorful tapestry of the Great Torii of Miyajima was displayed prominently in the living room of my Nisei parents’ house. Visitors couldn’t help but notice it when they entered our home in Honolulu. As a kid, though, I never thought much about that …

The Poker Table—Part 4

Alden M. Hayashi

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The Poker Table—Part 3

Alden M. Hayashi

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The Poker Table—Part 2

Alden M. Hayashi

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The Poker Table—Part 1

Alden M. Hayashi

Author’s note: My late Nisei father did indeed have a poker gang of his best friends who would meet monthly, always on a Saturday night, for decades, but this fictional short story—“The Poker Table”—is only loosely based on them.

No More Euphemisms: My Mother Was a Hostage

Alden M. Hayashi

Decades ago, when I was studying for my degree in journalism, I had an extremely tough professor. He was a gruff, cynical curmudgeon who constantly berated us for failing to scrutinize any statements made by politicians, government officials, and others in power. “When interviewing them,” he advised, “always, always, ALWAYS …

Sansei Fear of Failure

Alden M. Hayashi

Years ago, a management headhunter called me about a job opening at a small but prestigious journal. I was excited about the prospect of working for that organization until I heard the exact position: publisher. In my career as a writer and editor, the highest managerial job I had had …

Finding the Right “Keiko” — Part 2

Alden M. Hayashi

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Finding the Right “Keiko” — Part 1

Alden M. Hayashi

Author’s note: After my mother had passed and my brothers and I were cleaning out her house, I was overcome with such intense grief—unrelenting waves upon waves of sadness compounded by a lacerating guilt for all the things I should have told her while she was still alive. To deal …

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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, was published in September 2021. His website:

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns

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