Between Seasons: Streets of Kyushu
by Marc Nair
17 June 2018
In photographs, we present a time in between spring and summer. These were taken mainly in Kagoshima, Nagasaki and Fukuoka, three of Kyushu's cities. The light breaks cleanly onto the streets, capturing an incipient solitude that seems to pervade the Japanese aesthetic, punctuated at times with moments of irony and humour. But this is a comfortable solitude, even as it often becomes a silence that leaves the street impenetrable to the gaze.
The Pachinko, or slot machine parlour, an ubiquitous sight throughout the country, is nothing more than a modern day opium den. Addicts line up buckets of coins and move their hands repeatedly over the same small range of motions for hours, eyes glazed over in the throes of ecstasy, or defeat.
It is sighting these juxtaposed elements, often unwittingly created, that make the street an instant canvas for making art.
A sober reminder of Japan's aging population.
A Japanese photographer was waiting to capture the Isaburo/Shimpei scenic train as it rolled into a station. Here, he's pleading to take a photo of the shy train stewardess in the last moments before the doors roll shut.
Images of the Japanese businessman/working-class male, typically decked out in a suit, and most often found in an izakaya after office hours.
There's always more than one thing going on in Japan, but so much of it revolves around commerce and food.
A fleeting moment captured from outside a restaurant in Nagasaki.
The Japanese have no qualms about being by themselves; whether in a bar, out on the street or dining alone.
Both photographs are from the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. The image on the left is a photo that was taken after the bomb was dropped. The heat from the explosion was so strong it left the shadow of the man and his ladder permanently imprinted on the wall.
Two different spectacles bridges! The one on the left is the more famous one in Nagasaki, while the one on the right is actually much larger and is found in Isahaya, about a thirty minute ride from Nagasaki by train.
There is something dogged about the way the Japanese walk; purposeful, never meandering, always sure of where they are going.