An Earthquake-Damaged Factory, Brought Back to Life

In 2016, a powerful earthquake hit Kyushu, the southernmost island of mainland Japan, causing severe damage to the city of Kumamoto. Many of the area’s historical buildings suffered damage, with the factory and storehouses of 200-year-old soy sauce makers Hamada Shoyu amongst the casualties.

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With the Ainu

Native to Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, the world’s few remaining Ainu people protect an ancient culture, unique to this small corner of the globe. Hunter-gatherers by tradition with a deep reverence for nature, traditional Ainu food is a direct product of Hokkaido’s bountiful landscape.

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Ronny Behnert’s floating Torii

In 2019, German photographer Ronny Behnert travelled the length of Japan photographing traditional Torrii gates. Despite capturing some of Japan’s most photographed landscapes, the resulting series won Behnert first prize in the Sony World Photography Awards, 2020.

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The Ainu of Hokkaido

Living on the northernmost and southernmost islands of the country’s archipelago, two distinct cultures form Japan’s indigenous population. In the far south, tropical Okinawa is home to the Ryūkyūans, whilst snowy Hokkaido at Japan’s northern tip is Ainu territory.

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Keep warm in a hot mountain spring

Hokkaido, Japan’s coldest, wildest prefecture is home to fewer people per square kilometre than anywhere else in the country. Sandwiched between Honshu’s northern tip and Russia’s frozen Kamchatka Peninsula, Hokkaido’s rugged landscape, dramatic climate and abundant wildlife makes it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.

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