Stanley Kunio Hayami (1925-1945) was born and raised in San Gabriel, California, where his family owned and operated a nursery. While he was a student at Mark Keppel High School, his family was forcibly removed from the area and incarcerated at Heart Mountain concentration camp in Northwestern, Wyoming. In camp, Hayami attended Heart Mountain High School, participated in yearbook and worked in the poster shop. In 1944, shortly after graduation, he left camp to join the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a Japanese American segregated unit. He was killed in combat in Northern Italy on April 23, 1945, while trying to help a fellow soldier. He was nineteen years old. His remains were eventually returned to the United States. He was buried in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Boyle Heights.
The 96-page diary, which Hayami kept from 1941 to 1944, records a spectrum of youthful dreams of becoming an artist-writer and doubts ranging from the quality of his schoolwork to the meaning of democracy. The diary, which includes pen and ink drawings by Hayami, was deposited in the permanent collection of the Japanese American National Museum as a gift from the Estate of Frank Naoichi and Asano Hayami, parents of Stanley Kunio Hayami. It is available for online viewing in its entirety on the Online Archive of California.
The Duty of Every Male Citizen
A glimpse into the intertwining issues of selective service requirements, civil rights, and loyalty as experienced by two Southern California Japanese Americans during World War II.
Introduction by Martha Nakagawa, In Times of War
Originally produced and published under KCET Webstories