Books

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ACROSS THE ANDES – journey to the farthest corner of the world –

• To be published in 2021!

• Photos & Text

The Andes is the backbone of South America both geographically and culturally. With a stretch of 7000km (4300mi), there is no other place on this planet having such diverse landscapes – from gigantic glaciers to the desolate desert, extensive high plateau to the world’s largest salt flat.

Cultural diversity is also heavily ingrained to the Andes. Ancient wisdom from the Inca Empire is prominent throughout the Sacred Valley while noble spirits can be found among the Gauchos in Patagonia.

I have been traveling these areas for the last 20 years and it always brings me to introspection. Venturing into the farthest corner of the world and being isolated in the soundless wildness, you may lose the sense of place and start wondering where you are and who you really are…

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BRAZIL – The Poetry of Diversity –

• Published in Brazil

• Photos & Text

Racial and cultural mixture is the “essence” of Brazil, however, the concept of “miscegenation” was detested as a symbol of backwardness in the country for many years. Why and how did Brazil’s identity become completely reversed? What really defines Brazil as being “Brazilian”?? That was my quest while I was traveling and photographing this marvelous yet mysterious country. To answer this question, I embarked on what became a long and incredible journey...

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Dancing Brazil! – the journey of searching for the true Brazilian –

• Published in Japan

• Photos & Text

 

As someone born and raised in Japan’s relatively homogeneous society, I experience Brazil’s complex mixture of races and cultures as totally opposite to my own identity where I always find myself enchanted by sight and sound the country offers.

A certain sociologist once said that one must be a poet to understand Brazil, and I believe these words ring true for every aspect of the Brazilian essence. Thoroughly entranced by Brazil’s countless charms, I wandered through the country as if I were experiencing a delirious fever…

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Cheer to New York City – 9/11 Witness –

• Published in Japan

• Photos

 

Being in New York when the September 11 attacks occurred, witnessing and photographing the magnitude of this historical moment, I felt a strong urge that I needed to capture every aspect of this tragedy as a professional photographer and journalist.

However as a person who actually lived in New York City, I felt overwhelmed and hesitant towards stepping into people’s difficult situations.  Mentally and ethically it was the most challenging assignment out of my entire career.

A year later I got a request from a publisher in Japan to participate in this book, which commemorates the victims and their families. Mr. Sadahei Kusumoto, the author of this book and a former chairman of the Japanese American Association of New York, not only has an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of what happened in the city at the time but also sent an encouraging message to the people and the community restoring the city. I am truly thankful to be a part of this book since I finally found my true purpose in documenting this tragedy.

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School Reform in U.S.

• Published in Japan

• Photos & Text

 

Is the American school system progressing or collapsing? This book is composed by a series of reports about ongoing school reforms by teachers, educators and their communities.  I have visited various schools in different cities and states and witnessed the following:

- Life Skill Teaching at the public school system in New Heaven, Connecticut

- An all-girl public school being the key for success of the neighborhood in Harlem, New York

- Pros & cons of surveillance cameras and presence of school police at campuses in Los Angels and Las Vegas

- Challenges faced by alternative schools in order to help and support dropouts in New York City

- Cram schools being the key for success among Asian communities in Queens, New York

- Questioning whether homeschooling is the future of education

- etc.