The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

The Old Guard

Junichiro Koizumi Morihiro Hosokawa

Photographed former Prime-Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa campaigning in Shibuya today. Was quite shocked at how much Koizumi had aged. indeed watching these two old men climb the ladder to the top of the truck was a heart in the mouth experience: the ladder was steep and they tottered in the ascent.

When they talked though the energy and passion, of men much younger, came through. Hosokawa was more animated than I had imagined from seeing photos of him. in the photos he always looks tired. Koizumi, though not my favourite politician in the world, was amazing. His voice commanded the crowd. The anti-nuclear message resonated of course but he made it sing.

I do not know if Hosokawa will win the election on Sunday, though he speaks for many Japanese when he hopes for an end to nuclear power, voters are left wondering if he has any other policies. And as I watched them end their speeches and wobble back down the ladder there was clearly the question of age. Hosokawa is 76 years old and many people worry about his strength for the difficult job of being Tokyo governor.

From what I saw he certainly could probably hold his own with politicians younger than him . Sometimes the old guard need a cause to energise them, maybe this is Koizumi’s and Hosokawa’s chance to right some wrongs from their past and make a difference to Japan. Again. I mean really, they can’t be worse than some of the other less experienced, and sometimes just plain crazy, candidates out there.

More images of Morihiro Hosokawa and Junichiro Koizumi campaigning for the Governor’s election in Tokyo at my archive here:




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