Age: 20

Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA

Generation: 5th - Gosei

Biography: Matthew Yonemura has previously worked in photography, largely for yearbook, and now enjoys it as a hobby. He is currently pursuing videography both in his university education and as a career. 

Name of Piece: Ema

“Ema” represents the wishes and prayers of those who visit Japanese temples. The ema represent individuals’ hopes and dreams for the future—those who are optimistic about the future and who are striving for better, day by day. Ema resonated with me because the hope they symbolize can lead people through the darkest of times. This photograph was taken during my first trip to Japan, in which I learned about my Japanese roots and the beauty in Japanese history.

Name of Piece: (Untitled)

My family has been the most important support system when struggling with mental health. Often times when struggling with depression, I would push loved ones away. It's only afterward, now that I'm happier than I've ever been, that I understand how much my family cared for me then and cares for me now. Children may not initially understand the importance of their mothers, but as pain is inflicted upon them, they will understand how much their mothers care for and love them.