While on a conference trip to Kathmandu in February 2015, I had some time to explore the city on foot and attempt some street photography. Here is a selection of 12 images, the first of two or three instalments, which I have not posted before.
It is hard to express the emotions that I went through during my stay in Nepal and after I returned to Japan. Simply put, on one hand it was very touching to experience the warm cheerfulness and kind nature of Nepali people; but this contrasted sharply with the poverty that was evident almost everywhere I went.
The massive earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April 2015–only a few weeks after my visit (a nanosecond in geological terms)–thus came as more than a vague, unrelated, item of unfortunate news. I was worried for the people whom I had met and who had been so open and welcoming to me. I was also worried for the many people whom I had observed and photographed on the street as they went about their ways.
It hit me hard because I was very engaged in the process of not ony taking photos and ‘developing’ them, but also the process of going over them mindfully to reflect on both the details of the individual images–and their subjects–as well as the bigger picture of humanity at large. This time the procedure was different from other times because it occurred to me, sadly, that any of these otherwise unremarkbale photographs might be among the last pictures of the more than 8,000 people who perished in the earthquake.
Today marks a year since that day when the earth rumbled across Nepal. I remember again my visit there both fondly and with solemn reflection.