I lived with Kenji Matsuda over a two year period from 2016 - 2018. Through the personal experiences of Matsuda san, this documentary tells the story of survival and adaptation of one of the indigenous people of Japan and shows the effects of how the new laws imposed by the Japanese at the time instilled a lasting shame in the Ainu people due to their cultural heritage.
Matsuda san, known as ‘Master’ (which roughly translates to Boss in English) to his family, colleagues and patrons, has grown up sandwiched between two generations of Ainu which have very different attitudes towards their heritage. Whilst his grandparent’s generation encouraged their children and grandchildren to assimilate for fear of discrimination and being held back, recent generations have started to demand recognition of their indigenous status, which was finally given in February 2019.
Here are a selection of photos from the story, which has been shown at:
The Brunei Gallery, SOAS (Oct - Dec 2018)
Sway Gallery London (Mar - Apr 2019)
Sway Gallery Stockholm (May 2019)
ICP Museum, New York (May 2019)