Pages: 98/ photos: 91
Size: 267×260×16mm / 920g
Release Date: July 2016
Changchun, Jilin Province, China. One summer ten years ago, my taxi took an
unexpected turn off the main road into a scenic route. As the driver avoided
the heavy traffic and entered a backstreet, I encountered rows of ochre colored
old buildings and a din of human activities. This place had been Shinkyo,
the capital of Manchukuo and a home of the then Japanese community.
It now became a home for migrants from Shangdong, following the Japanese
withdrawal after the war.
However, when I visited, the area was about to be demolished.
People who had been living in this place since the end of thewar were proud
to say, "I was born and raised here." As if it was in accordance with the law of
nature, the buildings and people were, over the years, being replaced by
something new. This process of renewal constantly repeats itself, adding the
layers of history to the place. The old makes a way for the new.
It is inevitable.
All the same, as I walked on the streets of this city, whose old faces faded away
as the historical buildings and their inhabitant communities were replaced by the
redevelopment plans, I think about the Japanese people who used to live here.
I wanted to find a way to share this space and time with them.
That would enable me somehow to feel my own self as a reality.
Otherwise, my heart would be totally empty.
One day during the demolish work in town, I saw a man holding a lotus flower,
and followed him.
He stopped at a crossroad, so I peered in his hands to get a whiff of the flower,
only to find it was made of plastic.
(Excerpts from the author's afterword)