search instagram arrow-down

The Importance of Seeing With Your Own Eyes

Scenes from Post-Tsunami Tōhoku by Photographer Shiromasa Kuyama

March 11, 2011. The events of that day left an indelible mark on the memory of everyone who was in Japan at the time.

Forty days after the disaster, the photographer Shiromasa Kuyama visited the affected areas for the first time, together with the writer Tatsuya Hirose. Even 40 days later, rough tracks that served as simple roads had only just been opened through the rubble and debris, and the landscape bore signs of the tragedy wherever you looked. Following that first visit, however, he and Hirose returned regularly to the disaster areas, with Shiromasa continuing single-mindedly to document what had happened with his camera.

What drove him—what was it he wanted to communicate? The terrible scars left behind by the disaster, the powerlessness of human beings in the face of nature, or the resilience shown by the people already rising above the disaster and getting back on their feet? If I had to say, I’d guess it was all of these and none of them at the same time. I think he was driven by something that comes before awareness of any of these things.

These images show the disaster as shots captured by Shiromasa’s eye. Nothing more. If he were here now, he might say: “If people sense something from them, that’s enough for me.”

But when we look with our own eyes at the scenes he captured, they seem to surge with a mysterious power that holds us transfixed.

We are proud to present this special selection of Shiromasa Kuyama’s images. Four years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, we would now like you to see with your own eyes the scenes of devastation Shiromasa Kuyama captured with his camera. Up close and at first hand.

— team Shiromasa

» About Shiromasa Kuyama










— 2015年3月11日 team Shiromasa

» 久山 城正について