The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Reminisce

My first morning in Japan was nine years ago today. It was raining then too.

Of course it isn’t always raining. Indeed the weather here is usually quite good until typhoon season in early Autumn. The latest typhoon, called Talus, has wreaked havoc and left at least 20 dead in Western Japan over the last few days. Short sharp rain showers hit us regularly, causing localized flooding, but over-all we have gotten-off lightly here in Tokyo.

In this typhoon at least.

Quite an eventful year so far in this country. Definitely one of the most productive and interesting of my nine here. Also one of the most worrying and difficult. I have been moved and inspired by people I’ve met this year, from tsunami and earthquake survivors and those other Japanese struggling to make the best of their lives despite the mounting difficulties this country faces; to other snappers and journalists that are pushing and searching out stories to keep the rest of the world interested in the people that make up this very interesting place.

I’ve been equally exacerbated and embarrassed too by the stories some of those same journalists have told of the shenanigans and deceits of selfish politicos and businesses here. It’s hardly news to us that live here but these dishonesties were mere rumour and whispers before, believed of course in the way it is always easy to believe the worst about someone so far removed from your own lifestyle, but it was in a barely acknowledged way. It may have been true, indeed it probably was but seeing it presented as cold, hard fact, in black and white, on pages and websites that have worldwide reach due to the kleptomaniacal pull of Fukushima’s tragic keywords, has been like having some prejudices reinforced and yet also an eye-opening time of new understandings and empathy. It has also been a good time to find again that sense of unknowability that first drew me here as an explorer and was my sole emotion that first morning all those years ago.

I do hope to be doing some more writing, more in depth analysis and reporting of events and ideas from here in Japan on the blog when I have time. Apologies for the rather short posts of late. Just not really getting any thoughts together in a structured way recently. There’s a lot happening, there are things that are keeping me exploring and learning everyday, that I hope to share with you one day soon. But there are also things keeping me tired and mute and those limiters have the upperhand at the moment. I will post more when I can.

Meanwhile

Take care

Damon

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