Old Japanese Churches Vol.II

Price: £15.00 + P&P old-japanese-churches

古教会への誘い Old Japanese Churches Vol. II


The Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was damaged by a tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, is located in Fukushima prefecture, which forms part of the Roman Catholic diocese of Sendai. The diocese of Sendai also includes Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, and has about 11,000 Catholics. There are 62 churches, each with an average congregation of less than 100 people. The bishop of Sendai is Martin Tetsuo Hiraga.
Many church buildings in Japan were constructed during the years after the end of the Second World War when there was a large influx of foreign missionaries into the country, and the number of Christians increased considerably. The principle material used in their construction was wood, and many are now in need of refurbishment or re-construction. These churches have fascinated amateur photographer Tatsuya Ito. Although he is not a Christian, his interest in the Western Christian architectural and artistic features of the buildings inspired him to take photographs and create a pictorial record of this aspect of Japan’s Christian heritage.
His first volume, Old Japanese Churches, was published in 2007 and contains over 200 photographs of churches in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. Desiring to photograph churches in the northern part of Japan, Mr. Ito began visiting churches in Sendai diocese in 2010, and at the time of the earthquake had taken over 1000 photographs. The majority of these were held by the company he had contracted to publish his work, Epix, of Ofunato City in Iwate prefecture. The tsunami which followed the earthquake of March 2011 caused extensive damage to the offices of Epix, and most of Mr Ito’s photographs were lost. Undaunted by the disaster, in June 2011 he set out again in his pursuit, and re-visited all of the churches he had previously photographed.
Old Japanese Churches, Volume II, contains 225 photographs of 24 churches in the diocese of Sendai. Taken, as they were, in the months before and after the extensive damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011, these photographs provide a glimpse of the small Catholic communities continuing their lives of faith and prayer amidst the ruins of the natural disasters and the nuclear fallout. They serve to remind us of the quiet fortitude and hope with which the Japanese people bear the consequences of their most recent earthquake.
This album contains an English translation of the Notes accompanying each photograph, the Afterword from Bishop Hiraga of Sendai, and Tatsuya Ito’s Photographer’s Note.

ISBN 978-4-901602-38-9 196 Pages 3,000 Yen / £15
Three cameras were used for these photographs: Hasselbrad 500C/M (40mm, 50mm、80mm and 180mm lens); Fuji 645 (65mm lens); Nikon F100 (28mm, 50mm, 105mm and 300mm lens). Koda chrome and Fuji chrome film were used with each camera, (ISO 100). The film format with Hasselbrad was 6x6cm; with Fuji, 6×4.5cm; and with Nikon, 36x24mm.


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