Stanley Hayami, Nisei Son is marketed as a biography for Â"all ages,Â" but this slender book, deftly annotated by Joanne Oppenheim with a stirring Foreword by Senator Daniel Inouye, is also Â"one for the ages.Â" Without question, this compilation featuring a young Japanese AmericanÂ's World War II concentration camp diary and letters Â"homeÂ" to his family from the European battlefields will quickly become a minor classic. In the process of imparting an invaluable history lesson about a defining chapter of American life and death, this volume puts a noble human face on the NikkeiÂ's tragic wartime experience and bequeaths to posterity a befitting hero to embody the vexing promise of our democratic, multicultural nation. --Arthur A. Hansen, Professor Emeritus, History & Asian American Studies, California State University, Fullerton
Rare indeed are glimpses into the mind and heart of a boy as he becomes a man, but even more intriguing about Stanley HayamiÂ's story is that it is told in his own voice, penned as his sixteen-year-old life of innocence and idealism unfolded in an American concentration camp and ended, still in his teens as a new recruit, trying to help a buddy in one of the fiercest and last battles in Europe in World War II. We have Joanne Oppenheim to thank for masterfully bringing together his diary, letters, and family accounts in the turbulent context of the forced banishment from the West Coast, incarceration in desolate camps without charges nor trial, and iconic service in the U. S. military of Japanese Americans during the war.