Photographer, Video editor and Videographer
based in Tokyo, Japan
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Hiroshi Okamoto Visual Storyteller / Photographer / Film Director – based in Tokyo. Hiroshi Okamoto is born in Tokyo in 1990. He studied anthropology and social sciences at Ritsumeikan Asia...
Upcoming my new book "We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly", which is about public humiliation to individual in contemporary Japanese society based on my friend's personal experience to be selected as one of shortlists in Unseen Dummy Award in Amsterdam. The book will be showcased in Unseen Photo Fair at the end of September.
"We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly." This project is the story about public humiliation to individual in contemporary Japanese society based on my friend’s personal experience.
On April 2004, three Japanese citizens were kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. One of three was a just eighteen years old volunteer teenager. He is my friend. Terrorists requested Japanese government to withdraw Japanese military from Iraq but the prime minister strongly rejected this request then. Somehow those kidnapped people were released after eight days peacefully. Those three citizens could come back to Japan safely.
However, when those three people came back to Japan, all Japanese society completely criticized and abused them. Mass of people really interrogated three people about their self-responsibility.
More than one hundred abusing letters were sent to my friend after his coming back. Most of TV shows and news papers were reporting about himself everyday even his privacy information was exposed by anonymous critics through online. When he was anywhere in the city, everyone noticed himself and they really pointed to him with finger pointing.
Pointing the finger to someone’s back means same as “backbite” in Japanese. This is very iconic mind in Japanese society. People are always two faced to survive in the society so once they are against you, you will know how many fingers were pointed to you then.
Traditionally Japanese society is based on various local communities for long time. On the other hand, once a member from the community made mistakes and troubles, immediately other members forced the member to be isolated from their community. Then society frantically points the sinful individual as a heretic with finger pointing. Anyone can be the person who do pointing or whom to be pointed as long as you are a member of our society.
*The main portrait series consists of the actual abusing letters, which my friend really received from anonymous critics after coming back to Japan and the fictional portrait images of anonymous critics then. When my friend was criticized and abused from all society, he often faced this kind of situations anywhere in the country. When he was on the street, restaurant, station, anywhere in the city, people really pointed him as a sinful and iconic individual against our society.