Sunday, January 10, 2010

Portrait: Roy Matsuzaki

Roy Matsuzaki was the first person who agreed to sit for a formal portrait for this project. I met Roy in 2008 at a breakfast event that brought together some Japanese-American internees and European Holocaust survivors. When I talked to Roy before the event he told me that his family had been forced to leave California, and were sent to each of the two internment camps in Arkansas: the Rohwer and Jerome War Relocation Centers. This was the first that I had ever heard of any internment camps east of Colorado.

During the later 1950's and the early 1960's, Roy was the manager of the San Jose Zebras baseball team.

(Photo by Andy Frazer)

Although I had been practicing my white-seamless-open-shade photography setup for over twelve months prior to our meeting, I was a bit nervous when I arrived to photograph Roy at the Issei Memorial Building in San Jose. But Roy was his usual friendly self and he was very patient while I set up my backdrop and prepared to shoot.

Today, Roy works with the Japanese-American Museum of San Jose where he shares his internment experiences with school children.

(Photo by Andy Frazer)

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