Nima-kai

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Nima are members of the Discover Nikkei online community called Nima-kai. Join our community and share your stories about the Nikkei experience. Click an icon on the map to connect with Nima around the world!

*The term “Nima” comes from combining Nikkei and nakama (Japanese for “colleagues”, or “fellows”, or “circle”).

Nima of the Month

aldenmhayashi (United States)

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 30 years, he has recently begun writing fiction to preserve stories of the Nikkei experience. His first novel, Two Nails, One Love, was published last month. His website: aldenmhayashi.com.

Alden began contributing stories on Discover Nikkei in August, including a submission for the Nikkei Generations special series. We hope to share more from him in the future!

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

I love the breadth of coverage that Discover Nikkei provides. Through this website, I’ve read about Japanese Christians in Chicago; I’ve watched an interview with Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, the author of the seminal Farewell to Manzanar; and I’ve learned what life was like in post-war Japan from the first-hand accounts of Sansei Robert Kono. All this makes me realize the sheer vastness and complexity of our tapestry of Nikkei experiences.

Your background is in writing non-fiction in very technical topics. What made you decide to write fiction about the Nikkei experience?

My Nisei mother had nine siblings and, with the recent death of my dear Uncle Yuki last June, that generation of my mother’s family is all deceased. It’s dawned on me that, as a Sansei, I am now part of the elder generation and, as such, I feel a great responsibility to try to preserve the stories of my Issei grandparents’ immigration to Hawaii and my Nisei parents’ struggles to provide their children with the opportunities in the U.S. that they didn’t have. In writing short stories and novels, I hope to capture certain essential truths of the Nikkei experience—the resilience of the Issei and Nisei to overcome the hardships they faced, especially during World War II, and the many values they passed on to the Sansei and Yonsei generations.

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