Some three hundred Natives shared the seaside village with about a dozen white men, women, and children, excluding seasonal workers.28 Fourteen Tlingit men pose in full regalia in a picture Kayamori inscribed LAST POTLATCH SIDEWAY HOUSE ...
Author: Margaret Thomas
Publisher: University of Alaska Press
Margaret Thomas became fascinated with Shoki Kayamori's images and story years ago, and this ambitious book reveals the depths of her engagement with this man and his art. Part history, part biography, part photographic showcase, Picture Man turns the old adage about pictures and words around and around again. Fans of history and photography from Tokyo to Nome will find insights and details available nowhere else. And in the center of that history, an enigmatic man with camera. Shoki Kayamori left an enduring legacy, hundreds of images of a small, Alaska village, that captured a divided and changing place and time. But in Picture Man, Margaret Thomas gives the reader more than one lens through which to view Kayamori's life. She explores the economic and political realities the sent Kayamori, and thousands like him, out of Japan toward opportunity and adventure in the United States, especially the Pacific Northwest. The courtship, wedding, and life together of Helen Emery and Gunjiro Aoki highlight the racism that sent many young men north to work in the canneries of Alaska. In the early 20th century, Kayamori made his way to Yakutat to work in the canneries, too. But he also took a camera. For the next three decades, Shoki Kayamori would document the lives of his friends and villagers. But as tensions leading up the Japan's involvement in World War II escalated, Kayamori took his own life.