The Way of the Japanese Bath - DAMDAM

The Way of the Japanese Bath

Photographer Mark Edward Harris’ assignments have taken him to more than 100 countries on six continents. His editorial work has appeared in publications including Vanity Fair, LIFE, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, and National Geographic Traveler. His books include "Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work," "The Way of the Japanese Bath," "Wanderlust," "North Korea," "South Korea," "Inside Iran and The Travel Photo Essay: Describing A Journey Through Images."

彼の仕事は、Vanity Fair、 LIFE、 The New York Times、The Washington Post,、GEO、 Time、Newsweek、Conde Nast Traveler、そして National Geographic Travelerに掲載されています。
彼はまた、CLIO、ACE、 Aurora Goldや IPA awardsなどを受賞しています。

Here, Mark shares the impetus behind "The Way of the Japanese Bath," recently released in its 3rd edition.

ここに、第3版としてリリースされた、マークの "The Way of the Japanese Bath"をご紹介します。

“In the early 1990s I went to Beppu on the southern island of Kyushu with a friend from Tokyo. She had said there were great hot springs there but I had no clue what a life-enhancing, career- changing experience I was in for. I had been to hot spring areas in the US, Germany and Iceland, but the different ways the magical waters were presented in Beppu were both viscerally and visually impactful.”


“Some of the onsens presented their waters in a highly refined way while others definitely let the effects of the passage of time show itself. The water itself was also channeled in different ways including with individual waterfalls that did various types of aqua-pressure treatments depending on how individuals placed themselves under the falling water.”


“I basically am trying to document the experience. In one sense, onsens are like golf courses, each one is unique so part of my efforts is to document all the different types of onsens and sentos that one can encounter. The second part is to convey the feeling of being in the bath and I think that presenting the photos in black and white does a much better job at this. We enter a world that is much more dreamlike and metaphorical when the color visual cues are taken out of the picture so to speak.”


“I’ve been to Japan dozens of times for various assignments and each time I try to visit at least one onsen. Sometimes I will do a specific trip to focus on them. If I had to pick one time of year to go it would be in winter when the hot water meets the cold air to produce a surreal steam that translates beautifully into a photograph. The bath is of course a fantastic place to experience yukimi – snowgazing, or even better yukimizaki – snow gazing with some sake.”


“Sinking into an onsen is sinking into mother earth. We are detaching ourselves from the world of cellphones, computers, cars, planes and all the other trappings of modern life at least for a little while. This is highly restorative. When the hot spring experience is taken a step further with an overnight stay at a ryokan and we slip out of our daily life clothes into yukatas, we are shedding modernity for mindfulness. When we reemerge into the world, we can do so refreshed and recharged.”


Photographed by Mark Edward Harris


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