Honmoku, Yokohama Jan. 26th.

Numata-san took some time off from his extremely busy schedule and came to visit from Sendai. A good friend and very talented photographer, I met him in Ishinomaki through Sekigawa-san, another friend and great photographer. The three of us worked together at the cookout for the Ookaido shelter, during May and June, and became close friends.

Born and raised in Sendai, he was actually traveling through the US on March 11th, when the Earthquake and Tsunami destroyed much of his home town. The trip was the realization of one of his long time dreams; to do a road trip along Route 66. Obviously not in the mindset to enjoy his trip, he stepped on the gas and blew through all the sites, from Chicago to LA.

So, we got together with Nakako-san and Sekigawa-san and spent the day in Yokohama. My plan was to do a pseudo-Americana trip for him, and we checked out some Hot Rods and played pool in a seedy bar, then went to chow down some greasy BBQ burgers and Buffalo wings for dinner. We topped off the experience the following day, when we went to Hooters, but I'll save that one for next week...



そんな沼田さんを関東に呼ぼう、と関川さんや中子さんと企画し、4人で『擬似アメリカな一日』を横浜で満喫しました。 怪しいバーで瓶ビール(←これ大事)片手にビリヤードしたり、本場の味を出してるアメリカンバーでBBQバーガーとチキンウィングを食べたり。震災後初めて石巻から離れてこのメンバーと過ごす時間は本当に貴重で楽しいものでした。他愛無い会話で盛り上がりながら何てことない路地を散歩し、ここでこうして一緒に笑っている不思議な縁に感謝した一日でした。


My web site: www.arito.com


Ishinomaki Portraits 02


Sada, another one of those great guys that I met through my volunteer work, happened to be in the seat in front of me on the bus to Ishinomaki. Yes, he is bare foot in the snow. He said he's in his third year living the bare-foot-life, and has traveled through the outbacks of New Zealand and the peaks of Yakushima without ever wearing a single sock. His first reaction upon stepping off the bus, was: "Ooh, that's cold."


The "Saving Memories Project," is one of the longest on going projects that we have. Collecting personal belongings that were found in the rubble and mud, we then clean and categorize them, so that survivors can come looking for anything that might possibly have belonged to someone they knew.

The biggest effort within the project is the preservation of photographs. Thousands upon thousands of photographs have been brought here, and volunteers have spent months hand cleaning each picture.  They then gets scanned so that the images can eventually be made into an archived database for people to easily browse through, in search for a lost memory.

Kazumori and Ken have devoted every moment of their time in Ishinomaki as the leaders of this project, each having worked for at least 3 months for a combined total of 7 months now. The work is tedious, time consuming, and emotionally strenuous. Just imagine going through piles of photographs, thinking, in the back of your mind, that these people looking so happy in front of the camera, might not be with us anymore. Still, they both say that the work is gratifying, especially after witnessing the great joy people express when finding a photograph of a simple lost moment from their life before the Tsunami.

I went to visit a family that I became good friends with, while cooking at the Ookaido shelter. They now live in one of the many temporary houses within Ishinomaki. The Mother shared with me some "behind the scenes" stories from life in the shelter, and we laughed about things that happened behind those cardboard walls. I played Nintendo with the kids and drank beer and sake with the Father. It was wonderful and strange to be doing such simple everyday things with them, when the circumstances that brought us together were so extreme and out of the ordinary.


Ishinomaki Portraits 01

I was up in Ishinomaki last Friday-Sunday, helping out with the projects that our Kizuna group has been continuing. I plan to post the details of our activities on my Facebook page within the next few days, but for now, here are some portraits of just a few of the many wonderful people I've met through volunteering up there.


My web site: www.arito.com


Colors and Light, In and Around Paris

I just love that deep, deep blue the sky takes on, maybe 30 minutes or so after sunset on a clear, dry day. You don't get to see it everyday, and for me, even less so because I live in a humid country. The first two pictures in this set were taken on such a day in Paris, and I love the contrast between the blue of the sky, and the warm tones of the street lights.

Otherwise, just another collection of images trying to chase color and light, with some grub thrown in between...

車旅の写真は一回お休みして、今週はパリ近郊で撮影した「Colors and Light」を意識したセットです。少しだけフード写真も紛れ込んでますが・・・

My web site: www.arito.com