My mother’s family is from the smallest and
least populous of Japan’s four main islands, Shikoku. When the author Kenzaburo
Oe delivered his Nobel Lecture after receiving the prize in literature in 1994,
he described Shikoku (his birthplace) as “a peripheral, marginal, off-centre
region of the peripheral, marginal, off-centre country, Japan.” I spent two and a half months visiting the ‘peripheral’ regions
of southern Japan, traveling to Shikoku, Kyushu, and the Ryukyu Islands via support from the SMFA Traveling Fellowship.
The series here was created out of those travels, partially spent in the region of Bizen outside of Okayama and visiting the Ehime and Kochi prefectures in Shikoku.