Here is another addition to my Gaijin project, which involves photographing foreigners living in Japan who have somehow managed to forge their own path living here in this often bizarre country – and have done it in an interesting fashion.
There are many types of foreigners in Japan, with just as many grey areas in between – for example there are many expats and their families who get sent to work at the Tokyo branch of their big foreign company; there are people who have a Japanese spouse and have decided to make their life here, and then there are gaijin – like me – who originally came to Japan thinking that they’d only stay long enough to get up to some adventure and mischief, but ended up falling in love with this country and never left. It’s stories of these gaijin that particularly interest me – seeing as I am one of them – because I like to hear about the journey they took from their first job in Japan (often as an English teacher) to the interesting little niche they’ve carved for themselves. And believe me when I say it’s a tough journey.
This time around I’ve photographed my good friend Bellamy Hunt – also known on the web as the Japan Camera Hunter. As his name suggests, he’s built a business out of locating rare camera, lenses and other uncommon photographic paraphernalia for buyers and collectors around the world. This is an example of a job that can only be done in Tokyo – the abundance, variety and amazing quality of second hand camera shops in Tokyo is unparalleled in the rest of the world. Not that that makes his job easy – Bellamy has sniffed out some truly rare and coveted items – like this Nikon 6mm Fisheye and other, absurdly expensive uppity European cameras. Needless to say, Bellamy is the man to speak to if you need help locating cameras and cool mount-modified custom lenses.
If you know of any interesting gaijin, or if you would like to be photographed, let me know! I’ll shoot you some nice portraits as a thank you! Here are other other posts from this series:
Brett Bull – The Tokyo Reporter
Scott T Hards – CEO Hobbylink Japan
Hugh Ashton – Novelist, writer