Sometimes the little guy gets pushed around too much. This was the case of Teshima, one of the little islands you can visit when you come to see us here in Kagawa-ken. Teshima is a beautiful place, full of its own culture, fused with art from local artists and those from abroad, and a destination for people who want to see the rural seafaring life of Japan.
But Teshima was not always so beautiful. It was the site for illegal dumping of industrial waste for a couple of decades, and the pollution was severe enough to adversely affect the local residents of the island. After a prolonged legal battle with the residents taking on big corporations they were granted the victory that they needed and deserved. For almost the next two decades, over 900,000 tons of waste was removed from Teshima.
Maki Hayashida, documents this event in her book “Almost Transparent Island” combining modern photography with archival material to bring this unhappy history to light.
She is an inspired photographer, and looking through her site I could not help but feel that she has a very keen insight into the natural environments she captures from all over Japan, but also a sense of humanity when her subjects are people and not the trees, rocks, and water that are through much of what we can see on her site.
“Almost Transparent Island” is due to come out soon, and I hope to have more details on her book soon. If you hear of anything before I do, please let me know!