Even after repeated viewings, it remains difficult to believe that the otherworldly landscapes in Katsuhito Nakazato’s photobook “Urashima” were all photographed on earth, on beaches and along coasts all over Japan. As he demonstrated in earlier series, Nakazato has an unrivaled intuition for views and situations that look absolutely otherworldly and alien, for photographs that offer entirely new perspectives. For “Urashima,” the framework of the series lies in the old Japanese folktale of Urashima Taro, a kind boy who does a good deed and is transported so far forward in time that the world becomes entirely unknown to him. The magic of Nakazato’s photographs lies perhaps in the fact that these alien-seeming spaces still possess beauty and romance and an inviting kindness.
“As I traveled along the boundary between land and sea, I continued to communicate with the landscape that lies in the vacant spaces of our daily life—the landscape that compels me to actively seclude myself from the world.”
― from Katsuhito Nakazato’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)