Pages: 84 / photos: 74
Size: 267x260x15mm / hardcover
Release Date: February 2010
On the islands of Ryukyu, centered around Okinawa, people have long believed in a world that exists beyond the ocean, which is different from the one they live in, called "Nirai Kanai." From the festivals that are held on those islands, one comes to understand that the people think that the gods who bring them happiness and fertility visit them from Nirai Kanai. On the other hand, there is also a tradition that says Nirai Kanai is where creatures that bring about the bad and evil in the world reside. These two different ideas that sound conflicting are in fact not contradictory. Folklorist and poet Shinobu Orikuchi once wrote that Nirai Kanai is a place where the spirits of the dead head toward. I prefer this way of thinking. Whenever I gaze at the sea, I also tend to visually hallucinate Nirai Kanai as the world where my spirit will go one day.
However, in this photography book, I aimed to visualize Nirai Kanai as a place existing in his world that we live in now. This idea derived from my feeling that our lives are much too vulnerable in the state we are in today. Thus, the world of death is often perceived as being close y us, making us feel as if our spirits are ceaselessly crossing the ocean as we live our repetitive daily lives.
(Excerpts from the author's postscript)