When I published my previous photobook ‘Matatabi’ I tried to play it cool by not translating the title into English. Now it’s bothering me when I try to explain my work to non-Japanese speakers. If I use the title ‘vagabond’, I can convey some sense. However, deep inside, I feel I’m not as cool as a vagabond - the word play simply means ‘I am showing pictures from my trips again. (mata=again, tabi=trip; matatabi=silver vine)’. I cannot explain the exact meaning in English. In all honesty, I don’t lead a vagabond life; and my trips are not dissipated journeys. Though my feeling dictates to me which city I’ll go to, and where to stay, I do have my home to come back to and i do know when I will be back in town. I don’t like going on a long trip, nor on a hot day not on a cold day. When it rains I’d rather stay in a hotel room and watch TV. I no longer earn money for my trips playing pachinko. So i feel like a ruffian only when I whistle and wind my way back to the hotel kicking up stones I font on the street. I no longer worry about the world, nor do I act in protest. I’ve wandered in so many cities. But there are still lots of cities I’ve never been to. So I just keep on collecting favourite moments on my trips, over and over again, then come back to my town. I feel satisfied this way.
-Koji Onaka, afterword.