THE NEW STORY (POST , Tokyo , 2016)
The Photography of Tokyo
Let me begin by talking about a map. We Japanese grew up looking at a map with our country placed in the middle. On the right side over the great Pacific Ocean there were the Americas, and to the left, the vast lands of China and Russia. Europe was accordingly placed beyond those countries. However, the European map was completely different than ours. Here Japan is placed at the very right side of the map, at the edge of the Far East. Hence, Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun was at the ”end of all land”.
I believe this positioning has had a huge influence on our cultural history. Although the advanced European civilization and culture reached as far as the far east, it has been intercepted, adopted and fused with the characteristics of our traditional culture, Japanese culture. Japan carries a historical background of assimilating these imports such as culture and food into our traditional lifestyle in a unique way (Music being a recent example). Perhaps some will claim that our country does not have originality. Although I do not consider myself particularly patriotic, I wish to assert otherwise. One of the characteristics we have is like willow and bamboo, which can both be soft and strong at the same time. Everything is accepted and we are able to transform them in a manner where we can use it with ease.
When speaking of the word ”soft”, we can refer it to light. Even though it is a sunny day, the light shining on us is similar to light which is defused by a piece of paper, a light that is thin and translucent. There is a unique light structure in Japan which is not made by direct sunlight. It is more like a reflective light, which is continuously diffusing. That reflection appears randomly in the city, in the buildings coming from various angles.
We humans are the same as animals; we are both living in dependent environments. In fact, our spirits and culture are influenced by the positioning of where we are on the map, as well as our very unique light structure. It is regulated, even if we want it to be or not.
This book portrays this Japan and particularly depicts the unique light construction of Tokyo. Even though there are some photographs that were not taken in Tokyo, when I see this light, I can still feel with my heart that “This is the photography of Tokyo”.