In March 2011, Japan had a big disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake. More than 20 thousand people’s lives were taken by the quake and the tsunami. When I visited the stricken area, I saw a lot of people were praying toward the sea. I was inspired by the scene, and since. At that time I decided to start the photographic project ‘BORDER’ as a dedication to those prayers.
Praying gives us calm and peace in our hearts. It also brings us hope to live. As being proven in medical world, praying might have a special power, like making plants grow faster. It is also said that praying itself works on the human gene and that it has a great effect to heal people’s heart and make us calm. Unfortunately it hasn’t been revealed why praying is so effective, but I try to express the hidden energy of prayer in my photographs.
When I saw people praying in the stricken area, a quote of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama came to my mind. In his speech, he said ‘This planet doesn’t need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.’
I was so impressed by him that I decided to add him as ‘the prayer’ into my prayers’ list. For me, praying is absolutely necessary for people who long for peace. Praying needs not only for victims of the disasters but for all of us to achieve peace. I believe it gives us all strength and hope.
I don’t think I can save or help victims by myself. Maybe it’s hard to make their lives calm and peace by myself, too. But I guess I could make something change with my photographs. It is like throwing a small stone into the water and making many ripples. Even though they take time, they will get to the shore. My photographic project ‘BORDER’ might be small, but I hope it would be spread out to the world as the ripples.
Now remember the quote of Dalai Lama that I mentioned before… Where are they? How can we find them?
They are in our hearts.
From my photographs I want people to feel the hidden energy of prayer that I try to express.