Photographer Eiji Ohashi directs his "Merci" at the many vending machines located on deserted tips of cape shores and placed in remote mountain regions. While they have become one of Japan’s symbolic views, it is rare to see vending machines looked upon with this kind of affection.
"In our country, vending machines now occupy an important part of the infrastructure. They also prove the safety of our society in that these machines can be placed anywhere. I hear there are twice as many vending machines in the U.S., but all of them are located indoors.
In Hokkaido where I live, winters are harsh and snows are deep, and every day can become rather inconvenient, but even then I can get warm drinks from the vending machines. When I hold a warm bottle that I buy from the vending machine, my feelings relax.
On one snowy night, I was attracted to the form of snow lot up by the vending machine, and since then, on every night that brings fresh snow, I go out before the snow-plows come to photograph the beautiful sights. I probably looked like a strange suspicious man to others. Naturally, it is difficult to photograph under such weather conditions, but I could not be happier than taking photographs of mysterious encounter of form and light orchestrated by vending machine and snow."
— from the afterword