This first photo was taken back in the summer of 2014. It remains a firm favourite of mine — a scene I’m fond of for so many reasons, and the memory of pressing the shutter is still so fresh it almost feels like it was taken yesterday.
The next time I walked past is similarly clear in my mind, as I was shocked to find the house abandoned and empty. A home once so full of life was suddenly utterly bereft of it — even the colours weren’t there anymore. A structure so instantly recognisable, and yet at the same time so completely different.
Over time the only real sign of life was a plant that made it through the wall and into the kitchen. A poignant, and in many ways apt reminder of the resilience that once defined the house and its elderly owner.
And now, almost exactly 7 years to the day since that first photo, the cycle is in some ways complete. The building is gone, but the colour has returned, and if one blinks or squints a little, there’s also a fleeting reminder of the old lady who once lived her life there.
You are welcome as always. I have/had a real affection for this spot, so it’s nice to be able to share it.
What a sad but beautiful story. Thank you always for sharing this side of Tokyo.
My pleasure, it’s the side of Tokyo I enjoy exploring the most. Glad you got that out of the photos. Exactly how I feel about it.
Lee, I love your stories. Your perspectives always shed new light on things, different from what I would have imagined but made so obvious from your photos and descriptions.
And the cyclical routines you chronicle become even more fascinating when considered alongside your photos that catch intriguing characters and situations only imagination can explain.
Thanks a lot Evan, that’s lovely to hear. It really is. I’ve always photographed what interests and moves me, so to know other people get something out of the results is always wonderful to hear. Everything I could hope for really.
That’s why I like having people in my photos as well. They add so much, and like you said, they add even more in regards imagination.
A very moving set of photographs. Enhanced a lot by your narrative.
I can definitely see the first, second and fourth photographs in a gallery setting. Put close together like a triptych.
Thank you very much. Taking photos is way easier than writing about them, so very happy to hear the words provided something extra.
Ah, now that would be nice. Very nice indeed.
Glennis Dolce says
so many of these places gone. i miss them more and more each time i return. thanks for the documentation of this one.
It was my pleasure. So glad I got to take that first photo in particular. A single shot that meant I had to keep returning again and again.
I miss them as well. Not something I’ve thought about too much, but probably a big reason why I photograph so many places like this.
This is real bittersweet storytelling. You have captured the beauty and sadness of everyday life. Thank you so much.
Thanks a lot, that’s very nice to hear. And you are very welcome. I got a lot out of photographing this.
Bernadette Loftus says
One of the things that keeps me coming back to your photos week after week, month after month, year after year is how you humanize everything and everyone. This series of photos is an excellent example of that. I *feel* for this woman AND her home. But, as you pointed out, that is the cycle we all live in. And there is hope in that. Great work.
Thank you so much. Such a lovely thing to read. That’s everything I could hope to get across with my photos, so it’s absolutely lovely to hear, and also incredibly encouraging. It means I’m definitely on the right track. Thank you.