Mount Aso | Kumamoto | 2012 阿蘇山|熊本県|2012年
The first image establishes a country as a geological formation, the solid bedrock of a nation onto which humans exist, living out the stories that grow to create the myths and folklore that constitutes a country.
If I had wanted to project an image of Japan I could have chosen a traditional garden, a scene dotted with twisted pine trees, or a view of Mount Fuji. Those are the cultural tropes that signify what we have learned as being 'Japanese.' This landscape provides a primeval blank canvas onto which culture is lived out.
This archive image is from the same location. It warns of the dangers of volcanic gasses. The earth is still moving; we can draw parallels with culture, which evolves in reaction to shifts in society.
Volcanic Gas Warning | Kumamoto | 2012 阿蘇山|熊本県|2012年