2013 VOICE

The Tohoku region was devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami in addition to a nuclear power plant accident. Even though two years have passed since then, we haven’t been able to do anything and we can’t find any effective solutions yet. The lives of the people in the Tohoku area are still exposed to risk in the shadow of nuclear disaster.
I wonder when we began to forget to worship of nature. Without noticing it, we began to forget to listen to the voices of the mountains, rivers, grasses, or trees. And when we lost our feelings to feel a sense of gratitude for nature, we started to violate against natural laws.
Our ancestors in the Tohoku area had believed in the spirits and gods within nature. They had lived with nature. This rich sense of Japan’s spiritual culture was embodied and passed down for generations as a folk belief by our ancestors. The way I see it, why the disaster does not come to an end is because we have forgotten the folklore which we should care most in the process. At the same time, I, as a person who is living in Tohoku now, believe that I have a mission to pass down those sprits that we got from our ancestors to the next generation. I feel it strongly. When I faced to nature with the venerable lessons and the foresights of our forerunners, nature talked to me. I heard the voices of the mountains, rivers, grasses and trees. I learned from nature that the wake of the lake surface gives us an endless hope, sunbeams streaming through leaves wrap us with its warmth and coziness, and the reflection of the veneration teach us that there are always two sides in the world; the true image and the virtual image.
With taking pictures of these aspects, I want to embody the messages from nature which people in Tohoku must have heard since early times. And I hope many people restore the heart of caring of nature and create a bright future for the earth.

 東北大震災では地震・津波といった被害にとどまらず、原発事故が発生しました。2013年現在もなすすべもなく、効果的な解決策を見出せないまま原発災害の影響はいまだに続いています。それは、私たちが山や川や草や木の声に耳をすませ、感謝の念を抱いて、大地の摂理に身をまかせる心を失ってしまったからではないでしょうか。

 東北に生きた先人は、山や川や草や木などの自然のなかに神を見出しました。そして、それぞれの神や祖霊とともに生き、豊かな精神文化を具現化して民間信仰として伝承してきました。災害が終息しないのは、大切にすべきその伝承がいつのまにか途絶えてしまっていたからだとも思えました。
同時に、いま東北で生きている私には、先人から受け継いだ心を未来へ伝える役割を持っている。そう、強く感じたのです。

 先人たちの尊い教えと未来への展望を胸に、自然と向き合ったとき、山川草木の声は私に直に語りかけてきました。
湖面の波紋は果てしなく広がる希望を描き、木漏れ陽は温かく包まれたときの優しさを伝え、草木の映り込みは世の中の実像と虚像の二面性を教えてくれます。

 私はこれらの光景を写し撮りながら、東北で生きる人々がいにしえから聞いてきたはずの山川草木の声を具現化したいと思っています。多くの人々が山川草木の声を聞く心を取り戻し、地球の輝かしい未来を創造するために……。