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«I was fascinated by Nobuyoshi Araki’s shooting process,
how much was involved in making a single piece of work.»

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Yurameki#01, 2015, Inkjet, Fineart, 50 cm x 50 cm, Edition 5

Yurameki#07, 2017,Inkjet, Fineart, 50 cm x 50cm, Edition 5

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Yurameki#06, 2015, Inkjet, Fineart, 50cm x 50cm, Edition 5

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Yurameki#11, 2020, Inkjet, Fineart, 50cm x 50cm, Edition 5

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Saga prefecture and I moved to Yakushima in 2003

Why and when did you decide to become a photographer?
When I got the opportunity to participate in Nobuyoshi Araki’s portrait project in 2005 as a subject. I was fascinated by his shooting process, how much was involved in making a single piece of work.And when thinking about "self-amplification", discussing art with contemporary artists I met during my stay in Berlin.Also, when I met Antonin Borgeaud with whom I created Yakushima Photography Festival.

Can you tell us about Yakushima festival ?
A French photographer and a Japanese photographer fortuitously met in Yakushima, Japan, marking the beginning of the Yakushima Photography Festival.In March 2015, with the aim of promoting cross-cultural exchange through photography, Antonin BORGEAUD and I launched a Franco-Japanese collaboration: YPF, the first international photography festival in the Kyushu region.Yakushima, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its pristine and thriving nature. The island's beauty not only lies in its breathtaking nature but also in its inhabitants' daily life. The long-standing inherited culture and traditions are still visible and alive, rare remnants of a declining lifestyle in modern Japanese society.The photo festival offers various workshops, exhibitions and portfolio reviews by renowned photographers and art directors from all over the world.

 Through YPF, all invited photographers are introduced to the true beauty of Yakushima's environment by the island's inhabitants and are inspired by their experiences and explorations to create new works.The photographic artworks developed during their stay at YPF are then displayed at international festivals in France and abroad, allowing the island's culture to be shared internationally. Our ultimate goal is to share and spread the beauty of Yakushima and the infinite possibilities of photography to as many people as possible.And, YPF will be held 4th edition Yakushima Photography Festival at Yakushima from 11th Nov-15th Nov 2022.


Kodo Chijiiwa in Yakushima. Picture  by Mathilde Roseanne Brégeon


Kodo Chijiiwa in Yakushima. Picture  by Mathilde Roseanne Brégeon

How did you learn photography ? Who taught you ?
Self-study and experience. I attended a workshop at Manuel Alvarez Bravo photography school in Mexico. I also learned from Iris Janke’ s assistant in Berlin. I learned about Art history with Satoru Watanabe in Japan, about Photography with Antonin Borgeaud in France, how to select my work and do the layout with Cleo Charuet.

Do you have a mentor ? Or people who helped you or influenced you ?
All the people above but especially Antonin Borgeaud (Photographer and co_founder of YPF) and Cleo Charuet (Art director) and Yolita Rene (Independent curator and art historical).

What is the most enjoyable part of your work ?And the most difficult?
Most enjoyable part is an Exhibition. And it is also the most difficult.

Why did you move to Yakushima ? Could you describe you lifestyle on the island ?
Because I thought something was possible for me there. I love its natural dynamic.
Also, I think it is possible to be in contact with more fundamental things in life when living on the island.
While working as guesthouse owner, I do personal photographer activities and YPF activities every day. The benefit of having a guesthouse business is that I can meet and interact with people in all fields, which is necessary for "self-amplification" mentioned earlier.


What are the human qualities you value the most ?

What did your parents teach you that you are grateful for ?

To follow my favorite path.

What are your hobbies in life ?
Rakugo (Japanese comedy story teller) and having drinks with my friends !

Favorites places your like to go in Yakushima ? In Japan ?
Crystal cape in Yakushima.

What was your dream as a child and what is your dream now ?
My childhood dream was Comedian, but now I don't understand the distinction between goals and dreams. That means I am living a dream.

How do you picture your life and yourself in 5 years ? 10 years ?
It was five years of challenge every day to get the job of a photographer I dreamed of before, but even now at the midway through the journey, the challenge seems to continue in the future.

What do you feel the most grateful for in your life ?

What is a perfect day for you ?
When I feel like I don't need anything more. Might be so far.

Can you give me the title of your favorite music album ?
Eichi Otaki’s “Happy Ending”.

Can you give me the name of your favorite food and restaurant?
Shiratama Manjyuu in Saga  at Yoshinoya  (

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