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Seeing Ryukyu: Collective Unconscious


Gelatin Silver Print Photogram

Pentax 35mm Black-and-white Film

Seeing Ryukyu: Collective Unconscious is a series of gelatin silver print photograms taken on a 35mm black-and-white camera this past summer. I was able to retrace a path I took as a child with my family, all the way to 29 Palms, California, where I lived (1997-’99). I connect this long stretch of highway and desert with my father’s identity as a Marine and moments of my childhood. In the militarized land used for training and bases, I see trauma across the land, just like Okinawa. Twenty percent of Okinawa, Japan, is currently occupied by the largest Foreign U.S. Military Base.

29 Palms Former Mara Desert known to the Chauilla Natives

29 Palms, California was first known to the Cahuilla natives as Mara. Cahuilla natives call the Yacca Brivifolia, commonly known as Joshua trees "hunuvat chiy’a" or "humwichawa."

In 1855, ethnocentric Europian survey was made by Colonel Henry Washington who changed the name from Mara to 29 Palms.


This is my sister Marina's son, baby Ollie. He lives in Tiffin, Ohio, near New Riegel, Ohio, my Marine father's home town.

Will Ollie learn of his Ryukyu ancestral connection? Will he carry on the so called patriarchal duty?

Okinaw Silver Gelatin Photogram Yucca Brivefolia
Ghost of Ryukyu
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