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森、あるいは消失点 (2016~)






In the forest called 'Aokigahara' that spreads across the northwestern foot of Mt. Fuji, 30 to 50 bodies of suicide victims are found each year. Even though the numbers of suicide cases have been decreasing due to the measures taken by local governments and other organizations, The forest is still attracting some people like the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you go off the trail just a little, you can easily spot items left by humans everywhere, such as ropes left along the path as a return sign in order not to get lost, sleeping pills, letters, shoes, and traces of campfires to light up the night, and items left behind that cannot decompose naturally, even if they sink to the seafloor.

Here, people are drawn to a young forest that grows on a layer of moss over hardened lava and keeps on changing over time. I wished to know what has kept them there in eternity.

Most people died in the forest by hanging themselves. It is said that a person has 10±3 seconds from the moment of carotid artery compression until he/she loses consciousness. I opened my camera shutter for the same amount of time in front of the forest where they finished their lives to take pictures of what they probably had seen at the end. By this technique, I could obtain images with blurry objects that moved due to the wind with landscapes where life and death come and go continuously.

I had an impression like I was being watched by the forest while I took the pictures. As a photographer, I always feel that I have the privilege of seeing my subjects unilaterally. However, every time I go through the wide-ranging field of moss, I feel like something watches me back.

Since one time in the past, I started to dream of something similar to this forest over and over again.

Each time, it has always been a long dream starting with me dying there.

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