Just prior to the start of 2010, I was asked by the editor of The Hawaii Herald to submit bi-monthly a photograph along with a caption to this journal covering Hawaiiʼs Japanese American community. The column was known as Sato Shashin-ya, and ran for a year on the last page of each issue.

Contrary to the popular adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” my desire to enrich the viewing experience of the image prompted the need for a frame of words, if you will, and with each successive submission the captions steadily lengthened, eventually evolving into essays.

An unexpected epiphany that arose out of this attempt at writing was that composing visual elements into a coherent image was surprisingly similar to articulating/composing through the written word. Just as a minute shift in camera position could dramatically alter the balance of an image, the nuances of word choice could paint a thought with varying levels of precision.