Shooting Film in Japan

Spring market. Unlike America where most old people are almost never seen, the Japanese are active regardless of their age.

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Young people are busy at work / school so you don’t see a lot of them in the day time.

As the night begins to fall the restaurants get their menus ready.

The typical Japanese city bike: front basket, step over frame, vertical stand, embedded lock on rear wheel. Danny Choo’s video on Japanese automatic velo parking. 

This brief moment when day  and street lights coexist in an unstable balance.

Finally, the artificial lighting takes over.

Outside America, Japan is probably the only other country where baseball is popular.

Japanese work quite long hours. To come home late is a daily ritual.

The bikes remain in the night.

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Females on wheels, Japan

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Lunch hour at the pond – Fukuoka (shot on color film with Leica Minilux)

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The noisiest scooters in the entire world are in France. In Japan, they are almost silent.

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The most popular bike type in Japan is a 20 inch folder. Leica film.

24-inch wheels are also common.

BURN (war, love and death in Japan)

My third photobook. The pictures were shot in Japan between 2007 and 2011. The Bomb and its effects on the Japanese mind, body and soul.

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BURN – Japan

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BURN est un livre de mes photos personnelles que j’ai pris au Japon. La bombe et son effet sur l’esprit japonais.

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Below are the rough snaps of some pages.

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Fukuoka, Japan 03/11/11

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Morning of March 11, 2011.  As I leave the house for my photoshoot, a massive earthquake takes place in Sendai, central Japan.

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These two girls are dressed for  their graduation as I stop them for a picture. They do not look Japanese. Probably Korean. They are happy because nobody knows about the earthquake yet.

An hour later, as I reach Hakata, I understand that something is wrong. People are grabbing newspapers from the stacks that sit everywhere around the train station. I can see the large Kanji but I can’t read them. My first thought is that the local team won big. But I sense some panic in the air.

Finally, I stop a TV crew to ask. A guy tells me in broken English.  “Earth quake. Tsunami. Japan is in state of crisis now.” 

I don’t understand the seriousness of what happened because earthquakes are common in Japan.  It takes a while to gather all the details. That thousands were swept into the Sea by the tsunami.

The Fukushima story is yet to unfold. Nobody knows about the nuclear problem at this point.

There was a big event planned for that day: the opening ceremony of the Shinkansen line for the island of Kyushu.