I have been wanting to make a documentary on the homeless community in Tokyo for a while and now my chance has come. Over the last year I have befriended a Big Issue seller called Matsuyoshi san who sells the magazine enroute to my work.
I proposed the idea of doing a photo documentary of his life as he has a very interesting story to tell – having lived in London for 10 years before finding himself living on the streets of Tokyo in his twilight years. He agreed to do the project with me and although initially it was just going to be a photo shoot and an interview, but I decided at some point that I could get a better understanding of him and life on the streets if I did it myself.
Not being someone who likes doing things the easy way, I wanted to wait until the weather is a bit colder and more miserable so I can really experience the harsher side of living on the streets and fittingly today is about as grey and miserable a day as is possible to find in Tokyo (though I just saw that it’s going to be 19 degrees tomorrow). I just read today’s blog post by street photographer Eric Kim about living comfortably and that living with a bit of difficulty can actually make us more grateful for the smaller things and life more enjoyable, which relates quite well to what I’m in part trying to achieve for myself in doing this project.
I will spend tonight and tomorrow night on the streets and then do it again 3 or 4 more times until I feel that I’ve managed to capture what I want photo and storywise. This is going to be my sleeping equipment for the next few nights minus the cat. I’m looking forward to getting started but not the cold hard floor and (most probably) sleepless nights….I’ll be back with an update tomorrow!
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