GOIKEN-KUYO

1: The 5-way “Scramble Intersection” in Shibuya. When the light turns green, the pedestrians start walking all at once. As I crossed the street, swept away by the crowd, I passed by two people in leather jackets, the ROCKERS. I made a sharp turn and followed them. They crossed the pedestrian bridge and went towards the Sakuragaoka direction. When we got to a quiet street, I greeted them. “You guys are the ROCKERS! Please let me photograph you!”
“You know the ROCKERS?” They said they had parked their motorcycle a bit more ahead and I went with them. A Royal Enfield and an old HONDA. Thank you, god of photography! I thought to myself. They slowly stored their belongings in the rear seat, and after a bit of preparation, they mounted their motorcycles. With the switch of their headlights, it seemed that they themselves had turned “on,” and with that, they disappeared towards the west into the intersection. A few months later, I heard that they were performing and so I went to a small club in Hatagaya. As I entered the clubhouse right on time for the show, they were in the middle of a meeting. I greeted them, and took some photos. A half an hour later, the show started. The audience was a handful of people, including myself. But that didn’t matter. It was an awesome show! 2017, Shibuya.

 

2: Shibuya on the weekends is a party without restraints. One after another, motorcycles and American cars gather, late into the night. There was one such American car parked. I was curious, and asked to photograph it. Were they a family? If so, what a fantastic family. 2017, Shibuya.

 

3: Elusive. Appearing and disappearing with a loud noise. This day, they were going to do a gig in Koenji, and I headed over with excitement. When I got to the venue, a unique motorcycle was parked. After the show, the unique owner of the motorcycle appeared from the underground venue and I negotiated to photograph him. He disappeared towards Setagaya with his friends, trailing a white smoke and the sound of exhaust behind him, as if he were one with his vehicle, riding into the night sky. 2018, Koenji.

 

4: Saturday night brought about a fever, and out of nowhere, they gathered together with their friends in Nonbei Yokocho. One minute they were dancing to the music and the next, they disappeared into the city at the speed of sound. 2018, Shibuya.

 

5: Kanako-san. Always with a different outfit and makeup, she strides through the city of Shibuya, full of energy. She loves handsome men. She rarely speaks to me (>_<) 2017, Shibuya.

 

6: Kanako-san 2. On this day, she was chatting up whatever good-looking man she could lay her hands on. She was talking to him a lot, in English. Afterwards, he asked me “are you her friend?” and I didn’t really know how to respond. 2018, Shibuya.

 

7: Hatagaya Station. I passed by a man as I was walking up the stairs from the basement level. For just a split second, I had a sensation like an electric shock in my body, and I turned around to see that he had also turned around. Our eyes met. I made a sharp turn and went down the stairs to talk to him. “Can I please take your picture?” “Oh, you want to take my picture? Are you serious? If you’re serious, I’ll listen to what you have to say so let’s go outside.” Oh boy, I had a bad feeling but oh well. We went up to ground level and a little flustered, I explained the general intentions of the photos. And then the man, with a formidable expression, said quietly, “Frankly, I’m pleased.” A weight was lifted off my shoulders. I took a few shots of him in front of the wire fence when it started to get dark and difficult to focus the camera. Afterwards, the man asked me a favor. He explained that tomorrow he was going on a date with his tall, beautiful girlfriend in Koenji, so he wanted a polaroid photo taken of the two of them. It had to be a polaroid for some reason (he didn’t want it to be the Instax). I promised to meet him at 6 o’clock at Shin-Koenji Station the next day, and we said goodbye. The next day, I went to buy a Fuji Film “Instax WIDE” and film after work, and went to Shin-Koenji. The guy arrived a little late. He looked a little more fashionable than yesterday’s work gear (although he was still wearing something like work gear). We walked from Shin-Koenji to the commercial street. What could his girlfriend be like? Getting a little lost along the way, we arrived at the thrift store where she worked. As soon as we entered, he introduced me in a loud voice, saying, “I brought a photographer,” and she seemed a bit caught off guard. It looked to me like they were just a customer and store clerk than boyfriend-girlfriend. I took three pictures with the instant camera in the store. Of the three, one was mine. 2018, Hatagaya.

 

8: In 2017, I was riding my motorcycle around the Enoshima area, with no particular purpose, when I passed a chopper with a looooong front fork coming ahead from the opposite direction. I brought myself to a sudden stop, made a U-turn, and began pursuing the motorcycle. There were no traffic stops to catch up, and I was finally able to approach him around the Zaimokuza area and ask if I could take a picture. We started a photoshoot in Yuigahama. He told me this and that about how he customized his motorcycle, but I was so absorbed in shooting him that it went in one ear and out the other. 2017, Yuigahama.

 

9: He is a BOY, she is a GIRL. 2018, Shibuya. At the building that was formerly Shibuya PARCO.

 

10: My parents live in Osaka, so even now I walk through the streets of Osaka a few times a year. My usual route is going from Shinsekai to Namba, and then to America-mura (Little America). There is a man there that I’ve always wanted to shoot, but he always refuses. Several body piercings, a rivet jacket, a lone wolf who talks to no one. I was so curious about him. I went to America-mura at the end of March 2018, and sure enough, there he was in Sankaku Park. I thought of a plan. I showed him the album I keep in my camera bag of people who I had photographed in the past. I usually gave these photos to the model if I encountered them again. I pointed at a photo and asked, “do you know this person?” “Looks familiar.” After having what could be considered a conversation, I asked, “can I take your photo?” “Nah, I’m good.” Crash and burn. After that, he would move around the park drinking canned beer and shochu cocktails. I followed him around from a distance, not close nor far, for about two hours, drinking beer, not to be outdone. I spoke to him from time to time. I felt it was the right time and asked, “can I take your photograph?” and he said, “if you aren’t going to tell me to pose like this or that, sure.” I had been waiting for this moment. I put my heart and soul into it and took one, satisfying shot. 2018, Osaka.

 

11: I’m sorry that I first thought that you, who goes by the name Bōsō Kangaroo (Reckless Kangaroo), just came to Harajuku out of curiosity or just for fun. I was drawn to the way you stood under the blistering summer sun, without even drinking anything, happily taking photos of a group of people in regent hairstyles who were dancing as hard as they can. I shall take a picture of your heart. 2018, Harajuku.

 

12: Shinsekai, Osaka. The man taking an iguana out for a walk is a former drag racer. A madman, no doubt. 2018, Osaka.

 

13: As I was walking briskly from the station towards Shinjuku LOFT, a princess appeared in front of me. Before I knew it, I was asking her if I could take a photo. “I’ll ask my mom,” said the princess. Mama Rie came from the smoking area so I handed her my card and an invitation to my photo exhibit. Your eyes, that looked straight at me without any filter between us, will always grab my heart. 2018, Shinjuku.

 

14: “BLACK BEAUTY”
“You’re pretty sweet for a Japanese man,” she says to me. 2018, Yoyogi Park.

 

15: On a winter night in 2016, I was stunned when I met you in Shinjuku. I don’t know if I will always be stunned, but I was when we met again in the summer of 2018 in Yoyogi Park.
2016, Shinjuku.

 

16: 2018, Yoyogi Park

 

17: “It’s tough being a man.” Attitude is a way of life. 2017, Harajuku.

 

18: 2016, Ueno.

 

19: A couple, is the existence of being paired. In humans and things, they are thought of as akin to each other, and seen as being together. It especially refers to two people in a marriage or in a romantic relationship. 2017, Asakusa Sanja Festival.

 

20&21: On this Saturday night in Shibuya, there are many cars and motorcycles gathered once again. I had an urge to take a photo and approached him. It seemed like he was deaf, but his girlfriend who was beside him interpreted for us through sign language. I took his photo in front of the shutters of a department store. I thanked him and as I turned around to leave, he had transformed himself.
2018, Shibuya.

 

22: During a shoot, I was taking a break, and leaning against a fence when a motorcycle suddenly stopped in front of me. The rear tire is huge on this thing! The owner had come to buy some takoyaki. 2016, Akihabara.

 

23: I passed by a man near Harajuku station. He was walking with another person, so I didn’t have a chance to greet him, but I couldn’t contain my curiosity and followed him, until I arrived at Yoyogi Park, where the Thai Festival was happening. They stopped there too, so I approached them. “Can I take your photo?” “Sure, but I’m not from Thailand,” he responded. 2017, Yoyogi Park.

 

24: I was walking through Shibuya Center Street. You were wearing a white turtleneck when I passed you on the street. I turned around, as if pursuing the residual image of the “face tattoo” I saw. “Can I take your photo?” “Sure.” As I was getting my camera in position, he said, “should I take this off?” “Yes, please.” 2017, Shibuya.

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