Naoya Hatakeyama, Kesengawa
(Lille: Light Motiv, 2013)
For Naoya Hatakeyama's book Kesengawa, I translated Hatakeyama's essays from French to English.
Kesengawa is the French and English edition of a book published in Japan by Kowade Shobo Shinsha in 2012. Cover, size and some photographs were changed by mutual agreement with the author.
The first part of the book is the story told by Naoya Hatakeyama, who embarks on a motorcycle trip towards the North of the island after the earthquake, a trip made difficult due to heavy snowing, the absence of fuel, and detours caused by destroyed roads.
Concurrently, the book shows reminiscence of happy days in his hometown, Rikuzentakata. It combines thoughts, movements, memories and images from Naoya’s mind on his way to this destroyed city.
In the second part of the book, there is no text but only photographs taken after the disaster. The extent of the erasure causes bewilderment, as much for Naoya as to the reader.
At last, in an afterword that felt like a matter of necessity, the photographer, but probably any other person confronted with such drama, finds elements for his own consolation, between memory and heritage.