Tokyo has an incredible structure to support photographers who are passionate about their work, but not yet professionals--in short, someone like Emi. Totem Pole is run by a group of members who all pitch in to pay the rent, and make decisions together about the gallery. There are at least 5 or 6 other galleries which operate in a similar way. Totem Pole used to have six members, but it's now expanded to eight, including its first non-Japanese member, Nebraskan John Sypal. As they produce new work, members can use the space to hold a show, usually for one or sometimes two weeks. The gallery also rents the space out for a week at a time, so anyone can get themselves a show by putting down some money. (The standard rate for renting a Tokyo gallery is about $1,000 a week, which is not at all cheap. But I guess that depends on how much value you place on gaining independence from a commercial gallery system). Each gallery has some selection process, but its typically an organic decision, done without much, if any consideration for the work's commercial appeal. Unlike in New York, Tokyo's large galleries don't wield so much power over photographers, who are more likely to fret over which company will or won't be publishing their book.