Noriko Takasugi – Fukushima Samurai



Fukushima Samurai

The Samurai warriors portrayed here were once residents in the area close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They are no longer allowed to live there※. Each of them stands firmly with their subtle but impressive expression at sites in their hometown that had a personal meaning for them. Since 2012, I’ve been spending time for hearing their stories and taking photo of them.

Since 2011, I have devoted my time to capturing the survivors of 3.11. While I am listening to their story, I could not ignore the unique spirit emerging in these people. These photos are part of my long-term project that differs from the major news stories or other projects about the disaster, having been investigating the evacuees not as victims, but as part of a 1000 years old folk culture of the area and representative of Japanese identity, examining how they are surviving and fighting their fate to retain their sense of self.

This series of portraits serve as a study in identity and human resilience. However, these men, posing in their ancestral costumes as if they are the victors in their post-nuclear setting, also represent this eloquent testimony of the antagonism between land and human beings, as well as progress and traditional values.

There are some important things even if you feel you lost all. There are what I’ve given up and chosen. My life is cumulative of what I chose to decide what is important day by day and those have been spun. The more I listened their story and took their photos, the more I became to feel that I am taking self-portrait of mine.





Akihiro Morita – Its







In the modern society, we interact with elements that are so diverse that we ourselves cannot even describe.

Jobs, fellows, home town and people around us etc… All of them appear to be within the close reach but we sometimes see them something very far.

People of the modern society find themselves dispossessed and isolated at corners of towns and cities, in enclosed urban structures, within impersonal spaces in rooms and so on.

This project is a collection of photographs of cities and people standing therein. In these photographs, modern urban scenes represent the impersonal and diverse social structures and depict people’s solitude and the gap between individuals and the society.








Takayuki Narita – Rose Garden






Rose Garden

More often than not, people behave rather oddly when they face roses.

One day, shortly after I moved to Osaka, I encountered a tribe of people obsessed with roses in an urban rose garden I found purely by chance.

Almost all visitors to this rose garden whip out their smart-phones and cameras, and start taking pictures as soon as they see the first flower.

They look very serious indeed, and probably because of that, strangely stiff at the same time. I couldn’t tell which is more important to them, embracing the flowers or taking pictures of them.

That brought me to the methodology of using carefully controlled daylight-synchronized strobe in order to restore and even out the visual impacts of the beautiful roses, and the appearances and behaviors of the visitors within calculated, two-dimensional frames.

The images I photographed of the rose garden ended up confusing me even more, contrary to my original intention. The photographs make the visitors look more theatrical, but whether their priority is to embrace the flowers or take pictures of them still remains a mystery to me.

In fact, I came to a conclusion, that the object of their admiration doesn’t have to be flowers in a rose garden. It could be a zoo, a famous tourist site or even a lunch with friends at a nice restaurant.






そこで私は、 バラの美と人々の姿や行動がイメージの中で同じ力で拮抗するように日中シンクロの均質で平面的な描写を用いて、両者を対比させるように撮影しました。



Motonori Shimizu – Individual




Number of Death: 15,891.

Number of Missing: 2,584 (as of March 10, 2015).

4 years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

It has been recorded as a great disaster but it will not be long before it becomes history. 

However, sadness and suffering have been engraved on the minds of the victims. Actually, there are 15,891 stories like ‘My son was killed by the collapsed house.’ There are 2,584 stories like ‘My wife has been missing since the Tsunami.’

The chances of hearing such stories from the victims have become rare by now.

One day, I had an opportunity to see the things left behind. When I saw them, I could not help imaging a variety of stories unfolding from them. So I decided to capture those things. And these works are the records of those ‘individual stories’.

Special thanks to:


Kesennuma Recondact Association / Kesennuma, Miyagi

Minamisanriku Volunteer Center / Minamisanriku, Miyagi



死者:15,8911人 行方不明者:2,584人 (2015年3月10日現在)











Makoto Kubo – Underwater Zen

Underwater Zen

I am a photographer and free diver who has been mesmerized by the magic of the ocean. I shoot the surface layer, the scenery, and the living creatures of the ocean. I believe that taking photography by free diving is more important than taking it by scuba diving. My spirit and body becomes “leveled” and utilizing the diving reflex stage, I can go into a meditating stage and it looks like I am practicing Zen. From this learning I have started this program “Underwater Zen” and I have been shooting divers and myself in a diver reflex stage.

Diver reflex stage is, when a person dives, a certain body reaction occurs. His erasion veins contracts and circulates blood to the heart, lungs and brain; and at the same time, a reflex called underwater slow pulse occurs, and the pulse beat becomes calmer and calmer as the diver goes deeper and deeper into the ocean. In this stage, motor and brain activity are inhibited, and the diver is in a state of meditation. During this time, I shoot my mental picture and other divers who are in a state of Zen with natural lighting in the dark ocean and have compiled this as my work.

Being in the diver reflex stage, I can be one with this gigantic ocean, and I can see people in a noble state, and shoot sceneries of mental pictures in the deep ocean. This is my production underwater, which I call “Underwater Zen”.

By diving without breathing, you can be very close to the ocean and the ocean species; and it is an act to understand our Mother Ocean.

While I take photography, There is no boundary between diver and me.

Then, the brain activity is suppressed, it makes no judgment whether yes or no.

That is “enlightenment” in Zen that is Buddhism.