12th March, 2008, cloudy
“The river in the bottom of the ravine was half frozen. It was a mother bear that had been shot, and dark-red blood was seeping into the freshly fallen snow.
The sun was setting, and my fingers had been freezing even inside my gloves. The men turned the bear’s body and I could see a vivid white pattern like a boomerang on her chest. The rest of her body seemed so black that I felt the word “jet” could be used only for this bear. The deep-darkness was beating slightly. Her eyes were shining emerald green. I felt she was looking for her child”
This photographic story is the first subject matter that Hajime would challenge himself to portray. The trigger to his passion dates back to a decade ago, when he was just 21 years old. Sitting in the college library he stumbled upon a book that portrayed the life of ancient Japanese people living in mountainous ranges, only 30 years ago. The tribe was described as being quite apart from the Japanese society as we know it today. The book left a deep impression that marked him for life…
This 54-page memory is richly overflowing with the recollections of Hajime’s 5 years spent living, between 2007 and 2011, with that very tribe, the MATAGI.
Written and Photography by: Hajime Kimura