JAPAN-GO-ROUND (2013 - ongoing)

Humans are made alive by nature.
Nature keeps beautiful by human touch.

人間は、自然に生かされている。
自然は、人間が触れることで美しくなる。

 

My lifework project "JAPAN-GO-ROUND" captured landscapes of nature touched by human. Even if it looks like untouched wild nature at a glance, there are always human communities near by. In other words, I'm not taking any adventure at all to photograph these scenery. I'm just visiting and taking a look into communities in rural areas of all across Japan.

I've been having short trips from Tokyo to various rural areas since 2013, and I always end up with finding the essence of how we live. It is because there still exist traditional land use that have evolved from local communities' long-term efforts to adapt to their surrounding environments and enjoy their bounties in a sustainable manner. 

Satoyama (landscapes) and Satoumi (seascapes) are the Japanese names for these sustainable human-influenced natural environments. Since current global trends have highlighted efficiency and convenience in capitalism, I've started this project to reconsider the importance of Satoyama and Satoumi. There may be another clue for better life globaly in such sustainable human-influenced natural environments in Japan.

 

ここにある風景はすべて、日本各地の里山と里海の風景です。たとえ手付かずの自然のように見えるものでも、そのすぐ側には人の暮らしがあります。このような日本の原風景の残る地方を訪れるうちに、私は都市の生活では見えていなかった豊かさが見えるようになりました。里山・里海の暮らしには、学ぶことがたくさんあります。人間らしく色褪せない豊かさを心に留めておくために、私はこれからも日本の地方をめぐりたいと思います。