ARTIST

MASA ONIKATA : Photographer

Japan is a unique country in the sense that a large majority of people are irreligiously devout.
There still are many temples and shrines all over the country, but the roles they play in people’s daily lives are far less significant compared to the pre-modern generation.
That, however, does not mean that people stopped believing in what the used to believe in. The scale to which the Shintoist and Buddhist practices are formally carried out is diminishing, but people’s beliefs are very much present in their minds today, and their sense of values remain intact.

From very early years of Japan’s recorded history, people believed in the concept that every thing, regardless of a living thing or a non-living object, has a spirit or a soul. They also believed that there were myriad of gods residing in mountains, winds, oceans, soils, fires and many other natural entities. They thanked them in times of peace, feared them at times of turmoil and disasters, and worshiped them in their daily lives, hoping that they remain remote from potential misfortunes and tragedies.

I, like many other Japanese people today, stay humble and pay great respect to nature in Japan, and I take photos and create works of art in order to pay tribute.

I sense the presence of sprits, souls, and nature gods more strongly as I grow older, and my desire to depict them is becoming more intense.

Through my works of landscapes, I try to visualize what I see and feel at various places of Japan, and it is my sincere hope that they reach the hearts of many people and add something to their lives however trivial it may be.