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, drawing from my own experience of belonging to two different places that cannot be physically or psychologically reconciled.

© 2019 Maia Lynch