Lost Interview Series – Photographer Junku Nishimura

The Lost Interview - Junku Nishimura

The first time I saw the photography of Junku Nishimura I became transported to a different place, like a poor man’s Arthur Dent, though not so much gone on an actual trip as merely dumbstruck, mouth agape, thoughtless and wearing a frayed robe and suddenly wondering where my towel was. It is not as if […]

Okochi Sanso Villa

Okochi Sanso Villa

The former villa of the silent actor Denjirō Ōkōchi (大河内 傳次郎 — 1896-1962)–most famous for starring in Akira Kurosawa`s Sanshiro Sugata, among many others and at his peak, was one of the top jidaigeki stars–lies lost in the back of Arashiyama’s bamboo groves. Called Ōkōchi Sansō (meaning Ōkōchi mountain villa) Ōkōchi’s estate consists of several […]

A Floating World in Bloom – Interview with Michael Nguyen

A Floating World in Bloom - HESO Interviews Tokyo-based photographer Michael Nguyen

I first met Michael Nguyen on a beautiful spring day in Tokyo, the flowers in bloom. We were in a Shibuya park on Meiji Dori, where an anti-nuke rally climaxed in a costumed hippie drum offensive, bursting in the dappled light. If I remember correctly, Mike had a can of beer and a cigarette (he […]

Modern Japan with Bronica Zenza

Modern Japan with Bronica Zenza

In part V of the series Manny Santiago looks at Modern Japan via the Bronica Zenza (ゼンザブロニカ?), a Japanese brand of medium format roll-film cameras, a single-lens reflex model first appearing in 1958. Partially named after the company’s founder, Zenzaburo Yoshino, and reputedly derived from Zenzaburo Brownie Camera. The Bronica Z and successor Bronicas, using […]

Modern Japan with Horizon S3

Fan faces at Fujirock (Manny Santiago)

In part IV of the series Manny Santiago looks at Modern Japan via the Horizon S3 Pro Panoramic. The Horizon is a mechanical swing-lens panoramic camera manufactured by Krasnogorskiy Zavod in Krasnogorsk, Russia, known for their range of Zenit cameras. The Horizon was produced in two formats: the 205pc, which took 50.5×110 mm wide frames […]

Sobazushi at Owariya Soba in Kyoto

Sobazushi at Owariya Soba in Kyoto (HESO Magazine)

Visualize if you will, a spry young man in his work kimono, made of an easy to clean light fabric, walking down the dirt-paved roads of the old capital Kyōto to the clickety-clackety of hundreds of Japanese sandal-wearing passers-by as they go about their daily business, smiling and nodding while the deciduous trees rain orange […]

Mochitsuki – New Year in Japan Making Mochi

Mochitsuki - New Year in Japan Making Mochi

Come the Japanese New Year, when some particularly enthusiastic families and co-workers across the archipelago once again dust off their bamboo rice steamers, big wooden hammers, not forgetting the Sake, and head off to the local community center, school, or as in my case, the abandoned yacht club, it raises the hairs on the neck […]

Homeless in Yoyogi Park

Homeless in Tokyo

Homeless in Yoyogi Park As the weather worsens and the pace toward the closing of the years quickens, take a Saturday morning to drop by the Sanyukai NPO & free medical clinic in 32 No. 8, 2-chome, Kiyokawa in Taito-ku, accessible via Minami Senju station. Help make bento lunches, go along to pass them out […]

Freakonomics The Movie

Freakonomics the Movie

In the recently released documentary film version of Freakonomics, economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner find their written musings on “the hidden side of everything” skillfully brought to the screen by an all-star team of modern young documentary film makers: Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), Morgan Spurlock (Super Size […]

Fujirock Festival – Sideshows Steal The Show

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Two questions are typically asked surrounding Fujirock: “Are you going?” and “How was it?” Recently the answer to the first has been yes, while the answer to the second generally begins with “Wet” and gets more complicated from there. Despite the weather perpetually being an issue during the three-day megafest in the mountains of Yuzawa, […]