The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Police State


As my friend, Nick Benwell, pointed out in a comment last post, there are quite a lot of demonstrations in Tokyo and I have been going to quite a lot of them recently. Now this is, apart from being a positive sign of Japan`s long overdue political awakening, also great for us photographers because it gives us news stories to sell, contacts for deeper and hopefully even better stories and is, let`s face it, fun to go along to, easy to shoot and everyday you do you learn something new about this or that point of view or section of society. Of course to shoot them well takes skill the likes of which Mark Vallee hasin abundance and at times, like the Yasukuni shrine demos it can get a bit hairy and dangerous. I have even seen photographers literally run for their lives from otherwise small and seemingly friendly demos when their identities, or those of the media they worked for, had been discovered.

But I do have one advantage for this type of work and that is being  in Japan where Draconian laws, like the one outlined here, have not YET come into force. That is a big YET!!!

Thanks to Rob Gilhooly and his new blog (one to watch this, me thinks, as he is a great snapper) for finding such a succinct and timely article I could blatantly steal for my own purposes!

The picture above is from the Uyghur protest march I went to at the beginning of this month, the police throughout never hassled me or my photographer friends. Easy. I can`t imagine doing what we did that day in the UK now.

More late



2 responses

  1. What we need are half sized SLR’S and eyes in the back of our head.

    March 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

  2. Tomo

    It seems more difficult to shoot people lively in Japan than in UK. Nevertheless, This pic and the previous one, I believe, tell us what were going on with actual vigour or tension.

    March 4, 2009 at 12:37 am

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