Places, Tokyo, Kagoshima & Akita

Text & Photography Loan Lamoureux

With my cameras, notebooks and my broken Japanese, I have spent almost 18 months in Japan over the last 7 years between Tokyo, the Northern city of Akita and Kagoshima on the Kyushu island. The scenario is always the same, I wander around, get lost, find inspiration in people I meet and make conversation. Japanese people are not as shy as we think and If I am lucky and persuasive enough, it ends up with an improvised photoshoot. If not, I might have learnt a bit of local dialect or called “kawaii” by a little grand-ma and it is just as good. You will not find a lot of “gaijin” (foreigners) in the Japanese countryside and even less foreigners who speak Japanese. Most of the people I meet are as interested as I am and willing to share which is why I love this approach in photography. I am also very influenced by the urban landscape for my portraits’ backgrounds. I always try to compose with architecture and people which often means hanging around at the same spot waiting for the right people to shoot. However, even if I wanted to control everything, chance ultimately decides.

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