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 gokurōsama, which is used to express appreciation of someone’s hard work and sacrifice, embodies the spirit and cultural heritage of these second-generation (Nisei) 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.”