This is a series of articles featuring photographs taken across several trips to Japan spanning 2008-2018.
Japan is a fascinating country with a unique culture, language, history and people. Geographically, it is a set of islands located to the east of the Asian continent, separated by the Sea of Japan. Its closest neighbours are Korea (North and South), China and Russia. The culture was initially influenced by Chinese traditions but over time has evolved to be a unique culture unlike any other and the country has had many periods of self imposed isolation from the rest of the world.
In the 20th century, Japan embarked on a program of military conquest and colonisation in an effort to exert control and influence and to create an empire over much of Asia and the Pacific, before being defeated in World War II through the use of atomic bombs. Since then, the country has undergone a period of remarkable growth, modernisation and transformation. Today, Japan is a tantalising blend between old and new, traditional and modern.
I studied Japanese for 3 years and loved the Studio Ghibli movies. I’ve wanted to visit Japan for a long time, and we ended up making 3 trips across 10 years, all around early spring. This series of articles will attempt to show different aspects of Japan, and in some cases how they have changed over 10 years.
Japan’s economy grew rapidly from post World War II and peaked in the 1990s. Since then, Japan’s economy has stagnated, and its population is rapidly ageing (due to low birth rates) and starting to decline. Even so, Japan remains a fascinating place to visit and has many interesting and unique facets that are worth photographing.