A Map of Memories
Since a certain time, I have had more chances to visit cemeteries. This is in
order to do grave keeping. As I place flowers and incense before the graves and
gaze at the gravestones, the fresh flowers, the slightly wilting flowers, and the
completely dead flowers that have changed color make me recognize the signs of
people’s visits. While I look at these, I remember the classical Japanese word,
“itsukushimu.” If one were to replace this word with its English equivalent, it
would have varied nuances, such as, “to care for,” “to love,” and “to respect” at
times. Here, everyone carries those emotions somewhere, as they spend time
with the departed, who remain in their memories.
Up until this point, the accumulation of my experiences facing others in family
units with the “Standard Temperature” and the “Theory of Happiness” has been
recognized as having become a large bunch, consisting of Japan and Japanese
people. On one hand, one is reminded that every family’s feelings, thoughts, and
the diversity of the style of their actions, become genetic memories and are thus
passed on. This project endeavors to use these points as a base to illuminate the
common feelings that make Japanese people’s hearts beat.
I approach cemeteries in various areas, using them as places that connect with
the concept of “itsukushimu.” Additionally, I approach and visit families, having
at least three generations of each family come together to be photography subjects,
as people who connect with “memories.” An additional purpose of this is to show
timelines in relation to the families.
The true nature of life — death and rebirth — exists within time. Through our
co-existence with the lives that once were, we discover where we came from.