Gokurosama: Contemporary Photographs of the Nisei in Hawai‘i

February 14–May 24, 2009

Gokurōsama: Contemporary Photographs of the Nisei in Hawai‘i is an exhibition of 35 black & white portraits by Honolulu photographer Brian Y. Sato. The term gokurosama, which is used to express appreciation of someone’s hard work and sacrifice, embodies the spirit and cultural heritage of these second-generation Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i. Starting in 2002, Sato photographed more than 70 Nisei from O‘ahu and the other neighboring islands, determined to capture their images on an individual, and very personal level.

“I came to the realization that if it was not initiated and completed immediately, the opportunity to document the remaining Nisei generation would be lost forever.” Sato, a Yonsei, explained. “It would be gratifying to me if the viewers of these photographs would come to the realization that the Nisei represent a non-renewable resource, so to speak, that has to be tapped immediately if we are to benefit from the wisdom of their experience.”

Plantation Roots, produced for the exhibition From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawai‘i will be screened daily to accompany the exhibition.

Visit the exhibition site for more info >>

Read photographer Brian Y. Sato’s article on DiscoverNikkei.org: Photographing the Nisei of Hawaii

View a selection of photographs from the exhibition & catalogue >>

On loan from the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i and Los Angeles exhibitions are sponsored by Liam and Lori Tomoyasu McGee in honor of their Nisei parents, Maxine and the late Mervin Tomoyasu.

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