07 April 2010

Boston's "Japantown" : Care enough to be on camera?

The Common Market, sometimes known as Boston's "Japantown," in Porter Square

So for my Public Art (and Cultural Space) class, I'm making a documentary about the development and current issues of Boston's Japanese community in Porter Square, sometimes called "Japantown" depending on who you talk to. Seeing as I am neither Japanese nor have I ever made a film before, this might seem like a stretch, but I'm interested in ethnic enclaves (for lack of a better term...even though I hate that phrase), issues of globalization/tourism, and how an area is determined to be a Chinatown, Japantown, or ____town ... what is the critical mass? And who decides that, anyways?

Porter Square is particular intriguing to me, not just because I'm such a fan of Japan now (since the idea came up prior to my trip anyways). The Exchange Building there houses roughly 10 Japanese-owned businesses and restaurants - is it a Japantown? How does the definition matter, and who cares?

Now comes the question: do you care? And do you know about film (documentary or otherwise)? If so, definitely get in contact with me, as I'm trying to talk to as many people as possible about the meaning of a Japanese community here in this ole' town. Any advice/ideas are welcome, too.

Arigato gozai masu!