Auditorium with Kevin Roche

Here’s a collection of images from my recent trip to Japan. I was looking to shoot real life and culture on the street. No portraits or action, just life in the unrehearsed. These are from Yokohama, Kamakura, and the Shibuya and Harijuku districts of Tokyo. This magnificent country and it’s people, live where ancient meets modern, creating a fusion of culture which is unique to the land of the rising sun. 

I chose this track for Auditorium because it references classical elements while simultaneously taking the listener on a contemporary journey. This feeling reflects my view of today’s Japan and it’s future.

Japan’s history and past are exemplified in the town of Kamakura, where monks walk quietly among the many temples nestled in hillside valleys and incense burns at the foot of the Great Buddha. Fishing boats line the shoreline as a reminder that this is an island nation inextricably connected to the sea.

In Yokohama, there is a sense of engineering prowess and modernity through the efficiency of the workforce arriving via a crowded rail line and the dramatic architecture which dominates the skyline. Standard office attire here is the black suit which becomes a nondescript uniform, leaving little room for self expression and personal identity, and in a round about way, is like the buddhist subjugation of the self. 

A stark contrast to this cultural homogeny are the Shibuya and Harijuku districts of Tokyo. Here, youth culture and consumerism are king, as seen in the Harijuku girls hyper-stylized fashions and the proliferation of Starbucks and high-end Western retailers. In these districts of Tokyo, popular culture embraces and celebrates the individual.

On one hand it’s a culture of many contradictions, while on the other, there’s a sense of calm, order, and respect that pervades it all. It is a thing of grace and beauty…

For more of his work, be sure to check out Kevin’s Maker profile.


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