I took these photographs for my regular series â€œWalking with Leicaâ€ in â€œNippon Cameraâ€ during 2005-2013.
After reaching the age of 60 I became less inclined to venture far to take photographs. Noticing for the first time my physical decline, I began to see things that I had not been able to see when I was young. I determined to walk the streets and take photographs near where I had lived for the past 30 years. This was my thinking as I started the series for the photography magazine. I did not intend to undertake the long journeys with a camera that I had made in my younger days.
On 11th March 2011 I was taking photographs as I always do, when I was shaken by the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced. Shelves of books and crockery were tipped over and windows smashed in my house in Funabashi, Chiba, leaving it in chaos. I switched on the television to learn of a great earthquake off the coast of Miyagi and of a huge tsunami. Affected areas shown on the emergency broadcast included Hachinohe in Aomori, the Sanriku coast of Iwate, Ishinomaki in Miyagi and Minamisoma in Fukushima. I remembered visiting and photographing villages all along these coastlines on many occasions during the past forty years. The faces of those kind people whom I had photographed there were as if imprinted on my vision.