Flaming Torch | Mt. Gorozan, Fukushima | 2015
Hot Spring | Fukushima | 2015
For the past 400 years, 10-meter tall towers have burnt at the summit of Mount Goro in Fukushima Prefecture for the Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival. The ‘Akashi’ is the light of the torches offered to the gods. The festival originated as a tribute to the samurai warriors from this area who had fallen in battle. Post-3/11 it became a way to pay tribute to those lost in the earthquake and typhoon disaster. The figure in the photo is a substitute for me as a witness.
The image from the right is of an outdoor hot spring bath in Fukushima taken on the same road trip. I remember after the 3/11 nuclear meltdown people were scared to take baths outside, swim at outdoor pools or in the ocean because of fears of radioactive fallout.
An interest in how traditions and rituals adapt and change runs through this work.
The video below was taken at the same time as the photo.