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第13回「名取洋之助写真賞」受賞作品 写真集 Limited future
第13回「名取洋之助写真賞」受賞作品 写真集 Limited future
第13回「名取洋之助写真賞」受賞作品 写真集 Limited future
第13回「名取洋之助写真賞」受賞作品 写真集 Limited future

第13回「名取洋之助写真賞」受賞作品 写真集

Limited future




















Limited future



This is a story about a man trying to envisage a the future for himself and his family while confronting a disease called a brain tumor.


This man, my friend Kitayama, spent his days working hard as a primary school teacher in Aikawa Town in Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. It’s a peaceful town surrounded by greenery set against the Tanzawa Mountains to the west. However, he received unexpected news in July 2016.


After a severe headache that lasted for over a week and taking a subsequent MRI scan, they discovered a brain tumor in the right hemisphere of the brain measuring 3.8cm. The doctor declared he had a life expectancy of 10 years.


When I heard about his illness, my thoughts went to my mother. She battled uterine cancer for seven years before she departed. The image I have in my mind is of my mother fighting the disease while continually seeking treatments.


Finding a treatment that works for you from the mass of information and treatment methods available is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. From seeing my mother, I realized confronting an illness is in a way confronting how you live life.


Kitayama and I are the same generation and we are both fathers. As a 34 year-old suffering from “cancer” - the same disease as my mother- I wanted to know how he lives with his family and how he confronts the disease. I thought I could become involved by photographing his fight with the illness. This decision might be connected to the feeling of regret that smoldered inside me at my inability to do anything for my mother.


Kitayama’s biggest worry was for his child that was still to be born. Half a year before they found his brain tumor, he found out a tiny new life was dwelling in his wife’s belly. This bolt out of the blue came just after realizing he was about to be a father for the first time.


Now, with the chance of negative aftereffects of surgery, he was worried he might not be able to hold his child properly, that his life might turn into something unimaginable. He was drowning in anxiety.


The surgery was successful. But after he regained consciousness he soon realized the limbs on his left side were unresponsive. But his family and his students waiting for him at school helped him through the brain tumor, the paralysis in the left side of his body, and the days of anxiety.


He patiently continued rehabilitation and even though he still grapples with the dilemma of not being like he once was, he has managed to return to work.


Now he has recovered to the extent that he can practice kickboxing, just like before all this happened.


“After surgery, I try to live each day to the fullest so I can die any day without regrets. I just keep doing what I can do, and I keep doing what I can do for my family,” he says.


When I see him, I keep thinking to myself what I would do if I was in his shoes.


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