Kristen Hayashi

Kristen Hayashi is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of California, Riverside. After earning her B.A. in American Studies from Occidental College in Los Angeles and spending a year in Japan with the JET Program, she has worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. As a result of being part of the content team for the Natural History Museum’s semi-permanent exhibition Becoming Los Angeles, she has become highly engaged in research into the region’s rich historyAlthough her interest in Los Angeles spans a multitude of subtopics, her family history has inspired her to pursue her dissertation research, which focuses on the return and resettlement of Japanese Americans in the early post-WWII period. Kristen stays connected to the Japanese American community in Los Angeles through her involvement with the Little Tokyo Historical Society and Makoto Taiko.

Updated April 2017

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Japanese Hospital: Keeping the Community Healthy

Beginning in the late 19th century, boosters of Los Angeles touted the region’s sunshine and mild climate as a place for health-seekers. Yet residents of ethnic enclaves in Los Angeles were often denied access to health care at mainstream hospitals.

Japanese and other recent immigrant groups depended on itinerant midwives for assistance with childbirth and traveling physicians to make house calls to treat serious illnesses. By the 1910s, the increase in birth rate that resulted from the arrival of scores of picture brides from Japan, along with the detrimental effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic, demonstrated the need for ...

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