Location: Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
For my series Summer Fairies, I explore the relationship between ecology and the natural environment of "HImebotaru" flying in the summer night forest.
Fireflies, a species native to Japan, fly through the summer forest with short flashes that resemble Christmas lights. The sight is fantastic enough to make you forget the reverence of the night forest. It is the glow of life in just 10 days of summer.
The forests they live in include those that have been replanted by cutting down old-growth forests, and some that have been left after virgin forests have been cleared for development.
These places are also associated with Japanese nature worship and are familiar with "Shinto", which believes in "animism", an ancient Japanese way of thinking that senses God in all things.
For six years in the forests of Yamagata Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan, I have continued to observe the ecology and habitat of "Himebotaru" and have come to feel that it is not an individual but a species.
And I myself have noticed that the repeated glow of the fireflies is remembered in my brain not for a moment, but for a longer unit of time.
The sun sets, the forest begins to darken, the fireflies begin to fly and continue to fly through the darkness.
While capturing reality, I create stories by condensing it into a single image, adding subjective perspectives and sensations, including the excitement of looking at it without time, and the awe of mountains and forests.
Forests are living things, and many flora and fauna coexist in the forest. The life span of each creature is not the same, it may be one year or decades, the time of each life will flow, and life will be repeated.
Through this series, the voice of the forest is conveyed,
Nature wants to be accepted as a sublime thing that should not be threatened by human race.
I only hope that this forest and its fireflies will be protected.