ISHIKAWA, Mao [b. 1953]. Firipin / dekasegi josei no kokyō o tazuneru. (Okinawa): (Self-published), (1989).

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ISHIKAWA, Mao [b. 1953]. Firipin / dekasegi josei no kokyō o tazuneru [Phillipines / Visiting the Home of Migrant Working Women]. (Okinawa): (Self-published), (1989).

Book, page size: 210 × 297 mm / 8 1/4 × 11 11/16 in., pp.[50]. Black-and-white photographs and three texts by Ishikawa; offsetting to title-page from facing image. Photo-illustrated wrappers, adhesive-bound; light wear, rubbing to front. Signed in black ink on title-page. A very good copy.

First edition. Mao Ishikawa was born in Okinawa and raised there during the US military occupation of the island. In her first book Atsuki Hibi in Kyampu Hansen (1982), she documented the time she spent between 1975 and 1977 as a barmaid in the racially segregated hostess bars that served African-American GIs stationed at US military bases in Koza City and Kin Town, Okinawa. In the Summer of 1987, Ishikawa returned to this area for the first time. She found that most of the women working in the bars were now originally from the Philippines, and that there were noticeably fewer American soldiers in the town.

Firipin / dekasegi josei no kokyō o tazuneru is divided into three sections, each with an introductory text by Ishikawa to her photographs. The first section features photographs of some of the women who work in the area and the men who frequent the bars. During this time, Ishikawa befriended two women who now work at the bar where Ishikawa herself worked. She refers to them as ‘Emily’ and ‘Lily’ and arranges to visit their hometowns in the Philippines. In November 1988, Ishikawa travelled to the Philippines and met with these two women, photographing their lives at home and with their families. These photographs feature in the second section. The third comprises photos taken in Olongapo, the Philippines, near another US military base. Ishikawa is taken there by ‘Emily’ and introduced to another woman she calls ‘Rose’ who dances at a club there and is pregnant.

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