Kaohsiung, which was called “Takao” in Japanese language, is located in the southern part of Taiwan.
Ishigaki relied on his close friends from Ishigaki Island and moved to Kaohsiung at the age of 19.
He decided to make photography his career, and worked for the Ishibashi Photography Studio (Ishibashi shashinkan), which was owned by a person from Japan's Saga Prefecture. He worked in the shop as an apprentice for three years with four other colleagues: one from Korea, two from the Japanese Main Islands, and one from Taiwan.
Author: Was your boss Japanese?
Ishigaki: Yes, he was from Saga Prefecture. At that time, there were numerous Japanese migrants who owned a variety of businesses, such as photography studios or restaurants. My boss was originally from Saga Prefecture, and it was called Ishibashi Photography Studio. I was relieved to find a job there. I agreed to work as apprentice for three years. Without such agreement, they would not teach me skills and techniques.
Author: What was your most challenging experience during the apprenticeship? Did you have any difficulties during that time?
Ishigaki: Not really. I did not have a particular difficulty. It was just challenging to learn techniques, though. But, I had already decided to live on it. Thus, I became patient and endured the challenges. Then three years passed. Finishing the three years' apprenticeship, I had finally mastered the skills of a professional photographer. Then, I moved to Tokyo.