Yoshikatsu Fujii: Red String

Yoshikatsu Fujii is a photo-based visual storyteller working on long-form projects about memory, family, contemporary events, and history. His main medium is a hand-made limited edition photobook.

Japan – 

I received an sms message. “Today, our divorce was finalized.” Only at that time the message from my mother was just expressed quite simply although she always sends me messages with many pictorial symbols.

I remember that I then without having a particular emotion except that the time has come.

Because my parents continued to live apart in the same house for a long time, their relationship was gently brought to a termination over the years. It was no wonder that a draft blowing between the two could completely break my family at anytime.

In Japan, legend has it that a man and a woman who have a predestined encounter have had each other’s little fingers tied together by an invisible red string since the time they were born.



Unfortunately, the red string tying my parents together either came untied, broke, or perhaps it was never even tied to begin with. But if the two had never met, I would never have been born into this world. If anything, you might say it is between parent and child that there is an unbreakable red string of fate.

Before long, I found myself thinking about the relationship between me and my parents. How many days could I see my parents living far away? I wondered impatiently what if I couldn’t see them anymore. Since I could not gradually help feeling extremely anxious about them existence, I was at last driven to go to my parent’s house many times.

Everyday I communicate with my parents through an awkward conversation, as if I take a scene of their daily life. I adapt myself according to them, and he also changes their attitude to me. Thus, it is not that one of us gives way to the other one sidely, but both of us meet halfway.

Indeed family problems have not been resolved even though we could share some topics (some story as an allegory) and feelings. However, it means a lot to us that our minds have changed through the communication.

My family will probably never meet all together again. But I can feel without a doubt that there is still proof inside each of us that we once lived together. And to make sure that the red string that ties my family together in this way does not come undone, I want to reel it in and tie it tight.




Publication: July 2014
Book size: 16.5 x 22.5 cm
Page: 35 pages × 2 books
Design: Photography Yoshikatsu Fujii, Yumi Goto, Jan Rosseel
Edit: Yoshikatsu Fujii, Yumi Goto, Jan Rosseel
Hand-bound with the author
Text: Japanese and English
Limited Edition of 35 copies, numbered and signed
There are two kinds of front cover images.
・Japanese wedding dress (ed.1〜15)
・Western wedding dress (ed.16〜35)

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