Himi

Himi refers to the town of Himi in Toyama Prefecture where I was born and raised. My family and relatives live there. It is the kind of rural town with sea and mountains, a fishing port and rice paddies, and a stretches of shopping arcades with shuttered storefronts and large retail outlets along the arterial roads.

 

It felt quite carefree, back when I left this place for college, as this is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone else. Ever since then, I have made my home in the city. At the Bon holidays and for the New Year's, or when someone has passed away, I return to a home that seems at once dull and bustling. Still, this being the place where I once learned to eat, drink, talk and get on with people, I have a fondness for it. It may not be an assertive kind of affection, but there is no escaping something so deeply absorbed in my being. The pictures I take, and the choices I make according to this perspective of mine, have all been fundamentally shaped by this family, society and climate. This has also been an inquiry into whether it is possible to objectively capture people who are so intimate and places that are so familiar, yet from my standpoint I am incapable of judging its success or failure.

 

What sort of place is the countryside, then? Recently l've come to see the countryside as the sort of place where you find a hut standing beside a rice paddy. Compared to the city, the country has its own very unique and different allure, or perhaps I find this to be so from being subtly older. Or perhaps it has to do with the spirit of the age in which we live. And perhaps it is for the same reasons that I find the mysteries of family and marriage to be deepening for me.

 

To all my aunts and uncles who kept watch over me over the years, to my father, my mother, my big brother, and my lovable niece, I am grateful.

​氷見

​氷見というのは私が生まれて育った富山県氷見市という場所です。そこに私の家族と親戚の人たちが暮らしています。海と山、漁港と田んぼ、長いシャッター商店街と国道沿いに店舗群があるような田舎町です。

 

みんながみんなを知っているようなこの町から、かつて進学を機に少し離れるとなんだか気楽で、以来私は都会の生活に身を置いてきました。盆と正月、誰かが亡くなったときに帰る実家はときに退屈で、騒がしくも感じます。しかしながら、食べたり飲んだり話したり、人とつきあったりする方法を身につけたこの場所に私は愛着を持っています。積極的に好きではないかもしれませんが身にしみついたものからは逃れようがないのです。このような写真を撮り、選ぶ私のものの見方もまたこの家族、社会、気候風土によってあらかた形成されたのですから。近しい人や見慣れた場所を客観的にとらえることが可能かということも試みのひとつだったのですがその成否は私には判断できません。

 

ところで田舎とはどのようなところでしょうか。田んぼのそばに舎があるようなところではないかと近頃考えるようになりました。都会と比較してのイナカとは少し違う独自の奥深い魅力があると思うのは私が微妙な年齢になったからでしょうか。時代の風潮でしょうか。同じ理由から家族や夫婦についての謎が深まるこの頃です。

 

なにげなく見守ってきてくれたおじさんやおばさんたち、父、母、兄、愛すべき姪に感謝して。

蔵 真墨

2013年4月

Masumi Kura

April 2013

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