Trav­eler’s Tales

The Iowa Review - - ALEXANDER O. SMITH - alexan­der o. smith

“Trav­eler’s Tales” is an on­go­ing col­lec­tion of pho­tos made in Ja­pan.

My day job as a trans­la­tor and writer for the Ja­panese en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try doesn’t leave much time for photography. I make up for it by car­ry­ing a cam­era wher­ever I go, walk­ing when­ever pos­si­ble, and of­ten getting off a train one stop early to steal an ex­tra twenty min­utes of shoot­ing time on the way to a client’s of­fice.

While many of these shots were taken while mov­ing from point A to point B, I’m not the trav­eler in these tales. Tokyo, and the nearby sea­side town of Ka­makura where I live, is full of peo­ple on the move, chas­ing their own sto­ries. I’m drawn to those mo­ments in which there is a break, a pause where our hero con­sid­ers a new chal­lenge, a change in direction, or a quiet moment be­fore the train ar­rives and the next chap­ter be­gins. The build­ings them­selves add their own quirky cast of characters to the mix. I am con­tin­u­ing this se­ries and oth­ers in pho­tos and the oc­ca­sional writ­ten story on Instagram. Follow @aoka­jiya for more.

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