Fresno: Frank Kamiyama, 1931. Silver gelatin photograph, 10 x 46 inches. Minor wear and soiling. Image strong and crisp. Near fine. Item #1520
A handsome panoramic photograph by Japanese-American photographer Frank Kamiyama depicting the worshippers for the service to reinstate the Buddha's statue in the temple. The photo shows a large group of Japanese Americans assembled on the street in front of a bungalow-style building whose porch is draped with large curtains. The children, who line the front row, are in ceremonial and traditional costume; behind them, at the center, are three men wearing stoles of office; a band stands at the right end armed with brass and wind instruments; several spectators appear at the left edge of the image, some in parked cars waiting to drive through the street. Most of the worshippers are women.
Panoramic photographs such as this one were often taken to commemorate important events or celebrations, and were particularly popular from the 1920s through the 1940s. Frank Kamiyama (1886-1974) was a Japanese-American photographer with a studio located on Tulare Street in Fresno. He was an important documentarian of the Japanese community in Fresno and the surrounding area. Given the modest nature of the temple here, we presume this image to have been taken in an outlying community.