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ECO CHANNEL BLOG

Mitsuhiko Imamori

As photographer, he travels around Japan to explore traditional Japanese rural environments called Satoyama; a place where people live in harmony with the nature.

April 02, 2015 (Thu)

The Season When the Rice Fields Comet Back to Life

It’s now full spring. On the sunny banks [of Lake Biwa] the temperature has risen significantly, allowing myriad flowers to burst forth energetically in full bloom.
Nearby the lake, in the area around my studio, this is the season when they begin to flood the rice paddies. The dry ground was plowed during the long winter and now the cracks in the earth thirstily soak up the water. I guess you could say this is the earth is coming back to life. Throughout the countryside, the soil’s rich aroma hangs in air; it smells like the breath of life itself.

A Newly flooded paddy field in spring. Rural landscape in Ogi, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.
A Newly flooded paddy field in spring. Rural landscape in Ogi, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.

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March 16, 2015 (Mon)

Spring Has Come

The time of year when we can finally feel the warmth of the sun’s rays has arrived. Looking at the surrounding thickets of trees it still seems like winter, but if you look closely at the branches, the buds that have slept through winter are getting fatter. The furry scale encrusted coverings around the buds of the sawtooth oak have started to loosen, and tiny cream-colored young leaves are beginning to poke their faces out from the center. The ryobu (Clethra barbinervis or Japanese Clethra), ever impatient, has already sprouted leaves the size of the nail on your little finger. When the light shines through them, they sparkle a beautiful shade of yellow-green. Explore a bit more diligently and you can even find trees with flowers already in bloom. 

ryobu
ryobu

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March 13, 2015 (Fri)

A Letter from Satoyama*

Hello everyone,

My name is Mitsuhiko Imamori and I’m a photographer. My studio is located in Shiga Prefecture on the outskirts of Otsu City, in a place called Ogi. It’s already been some 30 years since I began my professional career shooting rural landscapes around Lake Biwa. Since those early days, I’ve made many discoveries, had many moving encounters, and been genuinely awestruck by the profound depth of nature’s majesty. To tell the truth, the idea behind taking photographs with the “satoyama” theme began in the terraced rice fields of Ogi. That is to say, this place is where my understanding of the true meaning of satoyama was formed.

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The rural landscape north of my studio, in winter it’s often a snowscape.The rural landscape north of my studio, in winter it’s often a snowscape.

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