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Picture Man: the legacy of southeast Alaska photographer Shoki Kayamori




Thomas, Margaret, author
University of Alaska Press, publisher

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In 1912, Shoki Kayamori and his box camera arrived in a small Tlingit village in southeast Alaska. At a time when Asian immigrants were forbidden to own property and faced intense racial pressure, the Japanese-born Kayamori put down roots and became part of the Yakutat community. For three decades he photographed daily life in the village, turning his lens on locals and migrants alike, and gaining the nickname 'Picture Man.' But as World War II drew near, his passion for photography turned dangerous as government officials called out Kayamori as a potential spy. Despondent, Kayamori committed suicide, leaving behind an enigmatic photographic legacy. In Picture Man, Margaret Thomas views Kayamori's life through multiple lenses. Using Kayamori's original photos, she explores the economic and political realities that sent Kayamori and thousands like him out of Japan toward opportunity and adventure in the United States, especially the Pacific Northwest. She reveals the tensions around Asian immigrants in the West Coast and the racism that sent many young men north to work in the canneries of Alaska. And she illuminates the intersecting--and at times conflicting--lives of villagers and migrants in a time of enormous change. Part history, part biography, part photographic showcase, Picture Man offers a fascinating new view of Alaska history.--Provided by publisher.


Includes bibliographical references and index.

Rights Access

Access is limited to the Adams State University, Colorado State University, Colorado State University Pueblo, Community College of Denver, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State University Denver, Regis University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, University of Wyoming, Utah State University and Western Colorado University communities only.


Kayamori, Shoki, 1877-1941
Japanese American photographers -- Alaska -- Biography
Photographers -- Alaska -- Biography
Japanese Americans -- Alaska -- Biography
Immigrants -- Alaska -- Biography
Japanese Americans -- Alaska -- Social conditions -- 20th century
Alaska -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century
Tlingit Indians -- Alaska -- Yakutat -- Social life and customs -- 20th century -- Pictorial works
Yakutat (Alaska) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century -- Pictorial works
Documentary photography -- Alaska -- History -- 20th century


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