GREENROAD (2016)

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Strong earthquakes occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan on April 14 and 16, 2016.

All photographs in this book were taken in Aso area of Kumamoto on June 11 and 12, 2016.

GREENROAD was a detour from Kumamoto Airport to Aso area at that time. 

 

大規模な土砂崩れが繰り返し報じられた熊本・南阿蘇を、震災から2ヶ月後に撮影した風景写真のシリーズです。

地震の被害が激しかった地域のひとつですが、実際に訪れると違った印象を受けました。

のどかな田園風景や鮮やかな新緑、そして変わらない水の恵み。

もちろん被害があったところもあるけれど、ほとんどなかったところもある。

その事実を伝えたいと思いました。

*グリーンロードとは、熊本空港から南阿蘇につながる当時唯一の迂回路だった、広域農道の名前です。

 

On 14 April 2016, a strong earthquake centered on the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan occurred, followed by an even stronger one in the night of 16 April. The area between Kumamoto City and Mount Aso, called Minami-Aso (Southern Aso), was most badly affected. Several dozen lives were lost, thousands of buildings and many roads were damaged, and landslides occurred. Worst of all, a 200-meter-long road bridge spanning a deep gorge in the village of Minami-Aso collapsed on 16 April before dawn. The village made headlines as it was suddenly isolated from the outside world.

All photographs in this project were taken in Minami-Aso two months after the earthquakes. Visiting as a solo traveller from Tokyo, I picked up a rental car and drove all the way down there from Kumamoto Airport. A few roads in the area remained closed, but detours had already been created to provide access to all destinations. While some tourist attractions had yet to re-open, I saw the beauty and power of nature everywhere. The ancient and powerful landscape reminded me of a simple lifestyle with a deep sense of spirituality, built upon living in harmony with nature and the environment.

Minami-Aso is one of the popular tourist spots in Japan. A decrease in tourism due to the earthquake directly affects its economy. I want this project to be proof that the area still welcomed tourists just after the earthquake.