Blizzard Day / Calm Sea
by Takahiro Yamashita
I grew up in the town of Iwanai in the Shiribeshi district of Hokkaido until I graduated high school at the age of 18. When you look to the east, Mount Yotei and numerous mountains stretch as far as the eye can see. To the west lies the Sea of Japan. I was born in such a picturesque town.
In 1984, the year of my birth, the construction of a nuclear power plant was launched in the adjacent town of Tomari. In nearby Rusutsu, there is a luxury resort with vast ski fields. The beautiful farms of Kyowa village add more richness to the scenery. Wind turbines look out over the Sea of Japan in Suttsu village. The nuclear power plant was just like those remarkable symbols of the surrounding towns.
When I think about my hometown there are two important people that can not be overlooked.
Kinjiro Kida, who was deeply rooted in the town, painted the beauty of nature as well as its harshness and the real lives of the villagers. His works piled up and his career as a painter progressed while he made his living as a fisherman.
Kenji Higuchi stays true to his convictions, working on the issue of nuclear power with incisive awareness. He expresses through photography how to deal with this responsibility in a society which has accepted the use of such a social malady.
I see my hometown through their eyes. I feel it is important to do so when I face the nuclear issue.
Takahiro Yamashita is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Takahiro Yamashita's work, please visit his website.