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Soma Samurai

23 of 48 image series (2015-2016)


After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake I was introduced to the 35th generation Lord of the Soma domain, Michitane Soma. For more than 800 years his family has looked after the welfare of the people of Soma. Located near the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, many local people were displaced from their homes and communities after the tsunami and nuclear accident.


After the accident Michitane Soma found himself in the role insuring that the samurai heritage of the community continues for the next 800 years. "It is the soul of our community, " he explains.


His foundation commissioned me to make a series of portraits of the local samurai. The images would always remind them of their heritage. These images were taken during the annual samurai summer war games. During the games and leading up to the events, the spirit of the samurai is evident to the faces of the local people. I discovered here a powerful example of the cohesiveness of culture if it is cared for. This is something that has fragmented in so many parts of the modern world. 


Image size 10.24" x 10.24" (260 x260mm), 

Paper size 13" x 12.5"  (330 x 320mm)


Edition of 09

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