Tag Archives: Alan Miyatake

The Photographer for My Daughter’s Wedding


“Just photos,” as they say…  Photos of my beautiful daughter’s wedding a couple of weeks ago.

Well, with just a little writing, perhaps, with a smidgeon of our American history tossed in.

In my other blog posts, there has been mention of the “internment camps” in which one-half of my dad’s family was imprisoned in the US during WWII.

Internees were not allowed to bring in cameras amongst many other things deemed to be a threat to national or camp security – like knives, guns, tools…and cameras.

However, at one camp called “Manzanar” (where my Aunt Shiz and cousins were imprisoned), one brave soul braved the tight security measures and actually made his own camera…in secret.  He then took prohibited photographs during his interment.  His name was Toyo Miyatake…  (Note: there is a super documentary on Toyo Miyatake called “Toyo’s Camera“: http://www.toyoscamera.com/.  One contributor was George Takei who played “Sulu” on “Star Trek”.  Takei was also imprisoned during the war.)

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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios

The actual camera he made is shown below; it is still in the possession of the Miyatake family:

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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios

In what I believe is a Signal Corps official photograph, the Toyo Miyatake family is pictured in their Manzanar barracks:

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Toyo Miyatake’s family in Manzanar

This is one of the more well-known photographs taken by Toyo Miyatake at Manzanar during WWII:

Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios
Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios

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Jump forward to today.

Toyo Miyatake’s grandson is Alan Miyatake; my 11 year old son sneakily grabbed my EXPENSIVE DSLR and snapped this photo of Alan and I chatting at my daughter’s wedding.  The  gent on the left is Alan.  We are the same age……but I do look YOUNGER, of course.  Just kidding, Alan!

Alan Miyatake on the left
Alan Miyatake on the left

We’ve known each other for over five decades now; we attended the same church.  When we played B-ball in the church league, he played guard.  When he let loose a shot, his form reminded me of a graceful ballet.  He was good… and his photography was fortunately much better. (Smile)

He shot my weddings…both of them, unfortunately.  And there was no one else I was honored to have shooting my daughter’s.  Both of us were joking before the wedding that we were both extremely grateful for auto-focus…

The following proofs are Alan’s work where noted.

Thanks, Alan…but I still challenge you in sports photography! LOL

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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios.  Isn’t my daughter just beautiful?  Takes after mom, I am told.
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios

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My four wonderful kids:

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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios.  This would be the last photo of the four kids together before her marriage.  I was honored to have Alan take this portrait.
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios.  My oldest son Takeshi and my ex.
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios
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Copyright Toyo Miyatake Studios.  Doesn’t she look gorgeous?

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And now, some of my snapshots…  Gotta throw these in:

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My son was the officiant (i.e., he married them off).  He got choked up a few times.  The bridesmaid on the far left is my cousin’s daughter, seven months pregnant.

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Ever faithful and reliable Alan at work…
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They make their entry as husband and wife
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First dance…

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James and my youngest girl Brooke on their way for a dance. It was (HOPEFULLY) her first one.
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My littlest son’s (hopefully NOT his) first dance.
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Breaking of the ceremonial cask of “osake” graciously provided by my new in-laws.
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Remember Jake and Brady? Their parents, too…but Brooke was too embarrassed to dance…yet.
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Jake lost! She was too embarrassed to dance. 🙂
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My bud Don and his wife Marie. A guy couldn’t ask for a more loyal and faithful friend. Thanks, Cap.

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Alan, great job once again.  I was honored to have you shoot my daughter’s wedding.

And congratulations, James and Robyn.  Love you both.