Seiki Kayamori (1877–1941) was a Japanese photographer who lived in Yakutat, Alaska, before World War II. His photographs captured the village’s residents, mostly Tlingit Indians, at a time when the fish canning industry and other outside influences were beginning to change or eclipse traditional ways of life.
Kayamori lived in Yakutat for some 30 years and never returned to Japan. But even before Pearl Harbor was bombed, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation suspected him and other Japanese immigrants on the West Coast of spying. Two days after the attack, awaiting his arrest, Kayamori committed suicide. No credible evidence has ever been produced to indicate that he was a spy. Today, about 700 of Kayamori’s photographs are housed at the Alaska State Historical Library in Juneau.