KT: How did you get into photography?
YM: When I was still wondering about what to do in the future, I encountered “Americans” by Robert Frank. Photography I knew at that time was mainly used for commercial purpose. Therefore, I was thrilled by Frank’s strong photography which vividly documented America at that period. It was a trigger to make myself devote into photography. I learned about more photographers, bought a camera for myself and kept shooting, and it became one of my primary interests. It was a natural development to become a photographer.
KT: Your acclaimed book ‘Tokyo Parrots‘ was unique in nature. What is your fascination with the parrots?
YM: I encountered the Parrots on a tree in my neighbourhood. It was fascinating to find out that exotic species were living in the wild in a big city like Tokyo and its number has been dramatically increasing.
KT: You have published five books by now – ‘Hanon,’ ‘Yusurika,’ ‘Colours,’ ‘Tokyo Parrots’ and ‘Taxi Dirty Book.’ What do you like about the medium of your photography in book format?
YM: There are mainly two ways of showing photography, one is an exhibition, and the other is a photo book. For me, reading photo-books was a trigger to becoming a photographer so that it would interest media and also enable me to express my works. Photo-books make you experience the world which artists present, which differs from the exhibition. You can own it, and you can see it when you feel like and can flip the pages to see what you want to see. That’s what I like about photo-books.
KT: There’s an element of the mysticism and mystery in many of your photos — What do you want to achieve with your photos?
YM: My main subjects have been happening and things I find in my daily life. I think that things you don’t pay attention to, mysterious and cannot describe in words are also fragments of the reality. I would like to reflect the world from my point of view. I hope what I capture in photography to be a trigger for the viewer to imagine and think about something in a broader sense.