top コラムRecommended photobook2 Keizo Motoda"Good Morning from Nagisa-Bridge" 元田敬三『渚橋からグッドモーニング』

Recommended photobook

2 Keizo Motoda"Good Morning from Nagisa-Bridge" 元田敬三『渚橋からグッドモーニング』

John Sypal

One of my favorite photobooks of 2021: Keizo Motoda's "Good Morning from Nagisa-Bridge" (Fugensha, 2021)


This wonderfully thick little book contains three hundred and sixty-five photographs taken between the summer of 2018 to the end of May, 2021. 


Keizo Motoda is, among many things, a photographer, a man, a father, a husband, a teacher. In what order and to what degree varies page by page but it is this which helps make it all so interesting. Laced throughout the book- in between portraits of his wife at home, the pictures of pals drinking, of photo students and other photographers, of motorcycles and rockabillies, of his daughter's karate classes- are dozens of staggeringly beautiful images of the sea and Mt. Fuji taken from a bridge near his home. 


In the afterword Motoda states that this location is near his home in Zushi, Kanagawa. Seen on his way to and from work, he notes that his daily visits to this spot sharpened a sense of awareness to life. He tells us that it was here where he gained greater sensitivity to the events- both important and trivial- that make up his life.  In this way he found a sense of calmness. (We should all be so lucky to have such a view as we start our days.)


The book is full of scenes both trivial and important- but at its core it's a book of changes. Things are commemorated, children graduate and enter new schools, seasons roll along, and parents pass on. Sequenced chronologically by the date-stamp in the lower right corner, it matches our own default, inevitable approach to life.  


The book ends with several pages of commentary (in Japanese and English) on individual pictures in the book. There isn’t a shred of pretense in Motoda's observations and thoughts on them. Indeed, his straight-forwardness is charming.

Motoda is there in the middle his world with that compact camera he's always got around his neck. That camera- a receptor for feelings and time- is key to his own understanding of the places and people he encounters. This "key" then helps us in some way unlock parts of our own minds. 


























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