Spirit of Papyrus

PhotographerFumio Tanai
PrizeBook (series Only) / Documentary
Entry Description

- Echizen Washi (Japanese Paper) Village - According to legend, a mysterious goddess appeared at the upper part of a river out of nowhere and taught the village how to make paper about 1,500 years ago. The villagers believe the legend and that it was an act of the Paper God who always keeping an eye on them. It supports their spirit of making paper. Even though there are lots of paper villages everywhere in Japan, Echizen village is an exceptional area. In fact, the Japanese Imperial family has used special Echizen Washi paper when they announce the names of babies.

About Photographer

Born in Tokyo, received a degree in photography from Tokyo Polytechnic University, studied under the photographer Eikoh Hosoe. This and his encounters with another photographer, Daido Moriyama, were decisive influences on his approach to creative expression. Working as an assistant photographer after graduation on projects involving some of Japan's leading Kabuki and movie actors and novelists provided an opportunity to expand his knowledge of the Japanese people and culture. His subsequent work as a freelance photographer has earned him worldwide recognition, resulting in numerous exhibitions at galleries in Paris, New York and Tokyo, including joint exhibitions with photographers such as Robert Frank and Daido Moriyama. He has traveled extensively, conducting international projects in countries such as China, England, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan for exhibitions in France and Japan. He has received an Art Fellowship from the Japanese Government, lived in China in 1996-97 and in London in 2005-06. He has made New York the center of his activities since 2007. Public Collections Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris Hungary Japan Museum