Nisei Week, a weeklong celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture, was held from August 13 to August 21, 2005 in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Being a 4th generation Japanese American and having only been to Nisei Week once as a child, photographing the 65th incarnation of the event taught me a great deal photographically and culturally.
As far as the photography went, I probably took more photos at Nisei Week events than I had total in the few years that I have had my camera. It was a challenge to browse through what Mario Reyes, the Rafu Shimpo photographer now for 16 years had shot, and then try and find a way to record it in a new way that he has not necessarily seen before. It was also challenging to work all day, from early in the morning to past midnight, shooting and then editing.
Culturally, I was exposed to many different artforms, from painting to dance to martial arts. I also learned just how tight-knit and active of a community Little Tokyo is. It was refreshing to see members from all generations taking an active role in Nisei Week, from the 29 year old President to volunteers old and young alike. I look forward to coming back in the coming years to see how the transition from old to young continues.