[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]
Until a few years ago, I was able to stave off an awareness that there is not an ounce of beauty in the world, and that humanity is a thing of extreme hideousness. So I could shoot and believe in something. (1972)
I wanted to go to the end of photography.
Making a definitive declaration of intent or meaning kills the photograph.
Most of what I want simply slips away like water flowing through a net, and always what remains are only vague, elusive fragments of images… that sink into countless strata in my mind.
Photography is the act of “fixing” time, not of “expressing” the world. The camera is an inadequate tool for extracting a vision of the world or of beauty.
When I take photographs, my body inevitably enters a trancelike state. Briskly weaving my way through the avenues, every cell in my body becomes as sensitive as radar, responsive to the life of the streets... If I were to give it words, I would say: “I have no choice... I have to shoot this... I can’t leave this place for another’s eyes... I have to shoot it... I have no choice.” An endless, murmuring refrain.
[My] photos are often out of focus, rough, streaky, warped, etc. But if you think about it, a normal human being will in one day perceive an infinite number of images, and some of them are focused upon, others are barely seen out of the corner of one’s eye.
If you were to ask me to define a photograph in a few words, I would say it is “a fossil of light and time.”