@

@

"SAIGA yuji and Gunkanjima"

@

I had always wanted to visit "Gunkanjima" (The Battle Ship Island) ever since I found out about it on encyclopedia which my father bought me when I was twelve.

I was obsessed by photography while I was studing at the design department of art school. At that time I found out that the coal mine of Gunkan-jima was closing and that people are leaving the island. I decided to visit the island immediately. That was in 1974, I was at the age of 23.

A shock ran through my body when I encountered the atmosphere of the island, which was beyond my imagination. I stayed at the island and shot photos for three months wntil it was completely vacant.

Since then, Ispent a lot of time on the island and oberved the changes. The island has been slowly ruined by weathering. The traces of life had long been lost. The quietness, loneliness and dreadfulness had not been changed. It is especially fearful at night, but it is something not exchangeable to the freedom of been completely alone. At night, I would sleep under the starry sky and idle through my wisionary trip.

The queer atmosphere detached from daily life is concealed in this island which had been completely isolated from the rest of the world, in the deep darkness between this world and the other.

Translator: MOCHIZAWA Aiko

@

A voyage to the Gunkanjima-island is prohibited currently.

@

menu

@