mother (1957) The first mother I took, “The Greatest Masterpiece” Photographer Masayoshi Sukita: Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

When coal was once called the “black diamond,” Masayoshi Sukita (84), a photographer who runs a cosmetics and haberdashery store in Nogata City, Fukuoka Prefecture, in the northern part of the Chikuho Coalfield, has a large family home. It was very prosperous at the store (Odana). It was just after the end of the war that the store was overshadowed.

On August 17, his father, Taketomo, who was serving on the Chinese front, was shot dead by an enemy. He is 35 years old. He was not notified of the end of the war, and he was killed in action after continuing to fight.

It was my mother Mitsu = photo = who managed the store that lost the main pillar. She works hard while raising four children. His second son, Sukita, also often kept a store number. He observed the people going through the shopping street and unknowingly developed his eyesight.

Men often dropped in at the store for their beautiful mother. “If you get married”. It was when Sukita casually said it when he was in the upper grades of elementary school. He suddenly shook his cheeks. “I was silent. To raise a child by myself, I had to be strong. I was usually a kind mother, but that strength was soaked.”

As a boy, Sukita, who was enthusiastic about making radio, often listened to Western music on his homemade radio. He is curious and concentrates on what he likes, but he does not study for exams. Sure enough, he failed to take the college entrance exam and was sent to a prep school in Nagasaki. At that time, the fact that there was a man working at a shipyard who loved photography in the same boarding house changed his fate.

I read through the photo magazines that men had one after another. As my interest in photography grows, I want a camera. Talking to his mother, he managed to make ends meet and bought a twin-lens reflex camera, the Ricoh Flex. In August 1957, he took a picture of her mother with the camera he got for the first time.

The traditional Nogata “Hiwaka Odo” is a memorial service for the deceased people who go around the houses that have reached the first basin. Wearing that outfit, I took a picture of her mother’s upper body, wearing a hat and sitting on her porch, from the side.

I will not announce it, nor will I post it. However, I left it as an important piece.

Sukita, who failed to take the university entrance exam again, went on to study at the Japan Institute of Photography and Film in Osaka (currently the Japan Institute of Photography and Film). After graduating, he studied under Osaka photographer Shisui Tanahashi. Around that time, his mother sometimes came to buy merchandise in the wholesale district. After the purchase, she meets and eats dinner together.

“I come by night and go home by night. I think it was hard for my mother who has motion sickness. The only fun was to meet me.”

Sukita, who made an outstanding appearance in advertising photography when he was an advertising company, became independent in 1970 after moving to Tokyo and working for a fashion brand. He has been active in photography for music artists and has become one of Japan’s leading photographers. Sukita, who became able to earn money, continued to send money to his mother with gratitude.

One of the most well-known works of Sukita is a photograph of David Bowie such as the jacket of the album “Heroes”. From his filming in London in 72 to his death in 2016, he has been filming for over 40 years. “I wanted to shoot everything, even the core.”

It was in 1991, 34 years after the shooting, that the photograph of my mother, who became the starting point of being a photographer, was made public. She was asked by the magazine Kokoku Hihyo on the theme of “My ” and decided to put out a picture of her long-sleeping mother.

“I was embarrassed, but it’s a piece that makes me feel love. It’s a photo that contains all my mother’s memories.”

I chose my mother’s photo instead of Bowie for “My One Piece, a Photographer Who Decorated the History of Japanese Photography” planned by Fujifilm in 2014.

“I was worried, but I think photography is personal. Even now, this is my masterpiece.”

My mother, who remained alone until the end, died in 2001 at the age of 85. In her passbook left behind, the remittance from her Sukita was left in its entirety. (Titles omitted)

Photographer Masayoshi Sukita Photographed by Shoko Nakanishi

Behind a single photo are sometimes unexpected dramas and unforgettable memories. From photographers who are active in the front lines to people in the nameless Ichii, various people will draw on the “one piece of story” carved on photographic paper. (Posted on the 2nd and 5th Saturdays. Next time is June 11th)

Sentence, Yoji Kako



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