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What's in a Name

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Lee Hayashi

My father came to American from Japan at about the age of 16. His parents had left him in the care of Grandparents when they emigrated to San Francisco and started a laundry business. They had my father come to America, perhaps to avoid conscription in the Japanese army.

My dad remembered being a teenager when starting first grade and how out-of-place he felt, but he proceeded quickly through the San Francisco school system, learned English, and proceeded on to graduation from Lowell High School.

He then enrolled at the prestigious Stanford University in Palo Alto. I have a couple of college yearbooks where he is in a small group of Japanese students with the president of the university.

When I was born, my parents chose the name of “Leland” in honor of the Stanford family, namely Leland Stanford, Jr. in whose name the college was founded and endowed.

Based on this original

Story of a Name: Lee Hayashi
uploaded by mkochiyama
Lee Hayashi July 2011 Photo courtesy of Japanese American National Museum More »

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