Excavating the Future City

Through His Camera, Naoya Hatakeyama Reimagines and Rebuilds Our Human Environment

Japanese photographer Naoya Hatakeyama, who was born in Japan in 1958, has spent decades exploring and documenting the human-made environment, with a particular emphasis on cities. He has explored everywhere from a limestone quarry overrun by colonies of bats, to the rebuilding of Hatakeyama’s hometown, Rikuzentakata, which was pulverized by a massive earthquake and devastating tsunami in 2011. What the artist seeks to capture in his startling images are the intertwined, endless processes of birth, death, and rebirth. And through this, he envisions the future of our built environment.

A comprehensive …

How Robot Laborers Could Restock Italy and Japan’s Dwindling Workforce

The Sci-Fi Scenario May Sound Ominous, but Droids Could Help Countries with Low Birth Rates

Ask experts about the future of Italy and Japan, and you won’t hear many hopeful opinions. One is destined to fall out of the Euro. The other is condemned to …

What Losing a War Does to a Nation’s Psyche

70 Years After World War II, Japanese Elites Are Still Haunted by Despair and Shame

In the spring of 1976, while visiting the Tokyo Zoo, I was confronted with the unforgettable sight of an aging former Japanese soldier, wearing a ragged army uniform and cap, …

In Hawaii, an Immigrant Family that Bridged Japanese and American Worlds

How Siblings Torn Between Two Sides of the Pacific Forged Identities in the Aftermath of War

I still remember them at the dining table after dinner each night in our Honolulu home. Three elegant sisters, styled out of Vogue magazine, their jet black hair in neat …

The Japanese-American Officer Who Helped Take Down and Then Rebuild Japan

Born in Seattle in 1920, Harry Fukuhara Was Fully Bicultural, Bilingual, and Binational

When I first met Harry Fukuhara, in 1994, he was orchestrating a Tokyo press conference for Japanese Foreign Ministry officials, former Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, and veterans of the …