KAMAKURA, JAPAN (JULY 2015)
I had decided to venture out on a trip to Enoshima Island to see the seaside towns of Japan, however, a trip on the wrong train lead me straight to Kamakura. I explored around the temples first and helped myself to a lot of sweets, but time was running out and I really wanted to see the giant Buddha. So I hopped on the train and made my way there, but unfortunately the gates to the temple were closed before I could make it in. As I contemplated going to Enoshima Island before the sun set I realised there was a beach at the south of Hase. I had low expectations about Japanese beaches, especially coming from Australia, but I knew I had to get down to see those waters myself. When I got there, the beach was underwhelming, but the waves were high and they crashed hard and the people… well the people were probably the most loveliest people I’ve met in Tokyo so far.
Towards the end of the beach I noticed a man singing to his child while playing his SHAMISEN. The moment was just perfect that I had to capture this lovely bond between him and his child. I asked for a picture, but that picture turned into us two sitting on the beach sharing a beer talking about nature, having children and travelling. We chatted in a rhythm of broken english and japanese, although I think his english was better than most Australians! I usually don’t befriend most of the people I come across and share a street conversation with, but Kensuke and his family are just some people that I feel very glad to call my friends.
“Did you catch the train here? Wow! You know, when I was younger I wanted to travel all over Japan so I went and took every train line available in Japan at the time and explored each stop on the map. The last stop I came to after I was done was Harajuku so I have really fond memories there.”
“I gave my son a very big name. In Japanese, his name means: ‘a heart the size of the ocean’ and I hope one day he grows up to have that.”
Kensuke sang me a traditional Japanese folk song (that he said I should sing to my children) and then he explained to me the meaning of the song: “The lyrics of this song says that children are a gift from God, but when I look at my son and I look into his eyes and see how pure he truly is, I think that children aren’t a gift from God, but children are God if only for a while.”
“Life is beautiful around here. The only downside is that I have to live with my enemies. Yes, I have three enemies! My son and my two daughters. But my wife is a good ally and helps me with my enemies.”