top of page

“Whispering in the Suburbs” Chapter 2

In Ashikaga, near my home town © Toru Ukai, 2020

I’ve been engaged in photographing the suburbs of Tokyo in the past two years, though I started my photography as a street photographer clinging to the center of Tokyo. Now I feel a strong sense of ‘centrifugal force’ working in myself. I almost lost interest in urban consumption society. It might be caused partly by my aging. I’m 60.

I feel that Tokyo has already been beyond the permissible range of humanity in every sense of the word. It’s nothing other than a monster circulating goods, services, capital and labor limitlessly without thinking. I found it prosperity when I was young. Now I find it just a chaos. You can enjoy the chaos only if you have enough money to please the monster. Yes, money is a pass to the fantastic world.

Besides, the ‘centrifugal force’ has been stronger by the pandemic recently. At present I hardly go to downtown. Instead, I try to approach the edge of the metropolitan area. Sometimes I take a picture around my hometown which is 80km away from Tokyo. Pictures there can be Chapter 2 of my ongoing project “Whispering in the Suburbs”.

The center to the suburbs. The suburbs to the edge… But it doesn’t mean that eventually I can find a paradise anywhere. It may be just a getaway. In fact, I left my hometown for Tokyo to have a bright future when I was 18. And now I try to escape from Tokyo to my hometown that looks more desolate than ever. In short, my life is kind of like repeated getaways.


Recent Posts

See All


Subscribing to my BLOG

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page