After the Storm: Post-Tsunami Japan by Kishin Shinoyama

© Kishin Shinoyama
© Kishin Shinoyama
ATOKATA-1, 2011

Japan is no stranger to catastrophe. From the near-constant sequence of storms and earthquakes that have buffeted these vulnerable islands to the unthinkable that unfolded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese have seen their land leveled, rebuilt and leveled again. But the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan this March were unique in their ferocity, their suddenness and the extent of their destructive power.

Eight months later, the cleanup is well under way, but those who wish to bear witness to the raw wound that was northern Japan in the wake of the tsunami should see the photo collection ATOKATA, just published by the Tokyo-born photographer Kishin Shinoyama. Shinoyama brought his camera to the scene within weeks of the tsunami, and he captures a land ripped apart. Stunned tree limbs, twisted metal and shattered stone bear witness to the moment when, as Shinoyama writes, “nature destroyed itself with an overwhelming energy.”

Yet even in Shinoyama’s dire images there is a hint of recovery. Disaster is in the Japanese DNA—but so is resilience.

Kishin Shinoyama is a photographer based in Japan. ATOKATA was published November 21.

Bryan Walsh is a senior writer at TIME. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanrwalsh.

Related Topics: , , ,

Latest Posts

The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson is back in print

The Return of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Decisive Moment

For 62 years, only the most fortunate of photographers and photo book collectors could peruse Henri Cartier-Bresson's masterpiece The Decisive Moment. This is about to change as German publisher Steidl is putting the finishing touches to the book's first ever reprint

Read More
A girl looks out from a sleeping compartment on a new train preparing to leave from Basra to Baghdad, the only passenger rail service currently operational in Iraq.

Photojournalism Daily: Oct. 22, 2014

Contrasto

How 12 Exhibitions, Two Museums and One Gallery Changed Photography Forever

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,612 other followers