All About Japan

Touching Last Photos of Grandmother & Grandson

Photography Family Miyazaki Tohoku

Back in 2011 when photographer Akihito Yoshida visited his cousin living in a small rural town in Miyazaki Prefecture, he discovered a very special relationship between his younger cousin and his grandmother. The grandson took care of their grandmother for years and Yoshida snapped some of the moments of their lives, from eating together to bathing and holding hands in the supermarket. However, one unfortunate day in 2014, his cousin suddenly disappeared; a year later, the body was found—he took his own life. A year after that, the devastated grandmother also passed away.

Yoshida underwent an internal struggle over whether or not to release the photographs. The cousin and grandmother enjoyed being photographed and had given Yoshida permission to enter and document their lives, but now things had changed. In the end, Yoshida decided to move forward with the project and open up a dialogue with his photographs, which “gently shows us the irreplaceable warmth of everyday life that, although now gone, certainly existed.” Yoshida’s work is also a testament to the possibilities and limitations of photography. It’s a poignant reminder of what the lens captures, and what it doesn’t.

Falling Leaves will be released as a self-published photo book in the summer of 2017. Spoon & Tamago has several more fascinating photos as well as the full, tragic story of the pair and more info on the book (link below).

Read full story: