Ogawa Yasuhiro: Winter Journey

What’s your current project?

The title is “Winter Journey” and as the words suggest, it is a collection with a winter travel motif. I was born and raised in Yokohama, so the scenery of northern regions that get dumped with snow always seemed to me the stuff of a fairy tale. All of these winter travel photographs that I have taken are tied to my wanting to create a fairy tale for myself—that was the impetus for this collection.

How long have you worked on it?

I shot for three winter seasons between the end of 2008 and the spring of 2011.

How many countries did you visit?

Only Japan and China.

What was your most memorable moment?

The memory of photographing that couple, which I used for a postcard, is burned in the back of my mind. The woman had come to the station to see off the man who was leaving on a journey. Her face was completely soaked with tears. Before long, the train bell rang and as the cars slowly but surely began to move away, she never stopped waving her hand. It was like a scene from a movie—romantic and beautiful.
Did you ever run into any trouble?

The blizzard-like conditions on the Japan Sea in winter are no joke. When the temperatures begin to drop, the waves really pick up and ferries to the islands all get cancelled. It was during such a time that I traveled to a little island in the Japan Sea off Hokkaido called Yagishiri. The day I arrived the sea was calm, but the next day a storm kicked up a frenzy and the boats were cancelled for three days straight. Yagishiri is small enough that you can walk around it in a mere three hours, so I just waited it out in my lodge, staring forlornly out at the violent sea from my window. The picture with the boat in it was the scene at Yagishiri harbor. And that boat on the right was the one that finally came on the fourth day. Every time I look at the photograph, I remember the snow swirling sideways and the angry sea that thwarted my return. It’s a good memory now, though.

Do you plan to continue this series? What are your future plans?

I do. In the future, I think I’d even like to publish a volume with the work, so my Winter Journey will continue whatever the season. I of course want to travel around Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku and the San’in region. After that, maybe places like Mongolia. I bet Mongolia is brutal in winter, but I’d like to give it a go (laughter).


タイトルは『WINTER JOURNEY』、文字通り「冬の旅」をモチーフにした作品です。横浜で生まれ育った私にとって、冬のあいだ雪に覆われる北国の光景はまるで夢物語= fairy taleの中の世界のように見えます。これまでに撮りためてきた冬の旅の写真を用いて、私だけのfairy taleをcreateしてみたいーそんな思いからこの作品は生まれまし た。










はい。将来的に一冊の本にまとめたいと考えているので、あと何シーズンか私のWinter Journeyは続きます。北海道はもちろん、東北や北陸、山陰地方などを旅行して回りたいと考えています。あと、外国ではモンゴルとか。冬のモンゴルー辛いでしょうが頑張ります(笑)。