My photographic images are often taken with the perspective of an expatriate Japanese. Last 20 years, I spent most of my time outside of my country, Japan. After I moved out of Japan, I started photography. Although I started working as a photo-artist after leaving home, my photographic creations are deeply rooted into my past and childhood in Tohoku, northeast Japan. Being away from home became one of my most important drives for photography. Through photographing, I seek connections to my origin.
When I was settling down in my new home, the Netherlands, as a reaction to the new environment, I started photographing using a self-made pinhole cameras, and shooting self-built models, as alternatives for photographing actual home. Compared to where I come from, a rural village in north Japan, the Netherlands seemed thoroughly modernized and overly organized, leaving little space for raw and improvised places to feed human emotions. In the photography, I created alternative realities, which connect me to my familiar world and childhood memories.
In 2011, the devastating earthquake hit north Japan, causing the Tsunami and the nuclear power plant explosion. Around that time, the population of Japan turned into decline. These events in my homeland urged me to face the fact that one’s home is not a stable place. Those events shock my innocently unsuspecting idea that my home would be there forever, and I came to realize that it might not remain as the way it had always been in some decades. After that, I started new photography series: travel photos shot on my way from Holland to Tohoku with trains and a ferry through Eurasia to measure the physical and psychological distance to home, and an ongoing project photographing my home and the village that is slowly changing in the process of modernization. At the same time, I finally decided to start photographing and interviewing the Japanese descendants born of the Pacific War I met in the Netherlands, against my concerns about digging into Japan’s war history. Through working on these series, I hope to capture the world directly surrounding myself, through my own views as a Japanese outside Japan.