Himi refers to the the town of Himi in Toyama Prefecture where I was born and raised. My family and relatives live there. It is the kind of rural town with sea and mountains, a fishing port and rice paddies, and a stretches of shopping arcades with shuttered storefronts and large retail outlets along the arterial roads.
It felt quite carefree, back when I left this place for college, as this is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone else. Ever since then, I have made my home in the city. At the Bon holidays and for the New Year’s, or when someone has passed away, I return to a home that seems at once dull and bustling. Still, this being the place where I once learned to eat, drink, talk and get on with people, I have a fondness for it. It may not be an assertive kind of affection, but there is no escaping something so deeply absurd in my being. The pictures I take, and the choices I make according to this perspective of mind, have all been fundamentally shaped by this family, society and climate. This has also been an inquiry into whether it is possible to objectively capture people who are so intimate and places that are so familiar , yet from my standpoint I am incapable of judging its success or failure.
What sort of place is the country side, then? Recently I’ve come to see the countryside as the sort of place where you find a hut standing beside a rice paddy. Compared to the city, the country as its own very unique and different allure, or perhaps I find this to be so from being subtly older. Or perhaps it has to do with the spirt of the age in which we live. And perhaps it is for the same reasons that I find the mysteries of family and marriage to be depend for me.
To all my aunts and uncles who kept watch over me over the years, to my father and mother, my big brother, and my lovable niece, I am grateful.
-Afterword by Kura Masumi, April 2013
Published by Sokyusha in 2013, Kura Masumi’s Himi brilliantly captures the quintessence of family life. Presented within are an array of snap shot photographs of her hometown Himi located in Toyama Prefecture of Japan. The images capture the comforts of both familiarity and events of the banal, brilliantly bringing together an intimate and universal portrait of home and family.