A soy field protected by elephant grass in the town of Pirapó. El Campo. August 2014. June 25th, 1936, a boat with 4 separate families from Japan arrives in Paraguay. These 33 people were part of the first wave of Japanese immigrants in the Paraguayan landscape, the group that began to work the land in hopes of developing an agricultural way of life.
After the events of World War II, Japan needed to disperse its citizens in light of their post-war conditions. It was in the second wave of immigrants, from 1953 to 1963, that my grandparents arrived on South American soil to make a new life. Growing up as a third generation Japanese person in Paraguay - a sansei as the Japanese would call me - has led me to question the importance of my cultural identity as successive generations are born and old ones pass away.
These images are part of an continuing documentation of the Japanese population in Paraguay as they undergo a generational transition. I am not searching for answers, but rather reflecting on the need to preserve my own Japanese heritage. This body of work continues to expand as I try to define what cultural individuality means in a world going through rapid globalization.