Brian Masaru Hayashi is a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the Department of History, Kent State University. He has taught at Kyoto University and Yale University, the latter with appointments in American Studies, History, and East Asian Studies where he co-founded and directed the first Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program.
The rise, decline, and transformation of the Yellow Peril as a racialist ideology is his most recent research work. Hayashi focuses on how the U.S. Navy and Army were both “infected” and “cured” of idea that Asians sought to invade and conquer the United States in the decades preceding and following World War II. Currently, his work shows the American military was far less “infected” before World War II than widely assumed and that their transformed strategic thinking on securing the American West included their views on immigration policy.
American intelligence and military history is also part of Hayashi’s research interest. His soon-to-be-completed list of works include a book on Asian Americans and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner to the CIA, during World War II. It is under contract with Oxford University Press. Another work he is writing for a commercial publisher is related to his research on the OSS—a biography on Carl Eifler, a pioneer of today’s Special Forces whose papers are deposited at the Hoover Institution.
Hayashi’s past research work includes new studies on Japanese Americans resulting in For the Sake of Our Japanese Brethren (Stanford University Press, 1995), winner of the Kenneth Scott Latourette Award. His work on the mass removal and internment of Japanese Americans challenged much of the past and present interpretations of that event in Democratizing the Enemy (Princeton University Press, 2004), winner of the Robert Athearn Award. He also co-edited a volume with Yasuko Takezawa, entitled, New Waves (Kyoto University, 2004).