[PHOTOGRAPHY] Photo Stage & Masha's recollection of his hometown, Nagasaki

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 (From L to R 1st row) Photo Stage I & II
(2nd row) Photo Stage III

I never did post about Photo Stage, the name of Masha's Exhibition of the photographs he took of various subjects since I know so very little about it. All I know are snippets as well as very short clips, so basically I just look, read and didn't think much about it, until I became very interested on the abandoned island, Hashima which is located in Nagasaki and once owned by Mitsubishi. You can immediately see the connection between Masha, Ryoma and perhaps even Yataro! Anyway my interested in Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima (translated as Battleship Island) was not related to Masha as I didn't know nor did I connect the dots. I just became deeply interested in full facility islands abandoned for decades for various reasons and Hashima was deserted since I believe mid 70s because coal mining was no more. The place still exists, buildings crumbling down, closed to public for 2 decades until April 2009 but now opened to visitors but very limited areas for good reason; the place is unsafe. I was surprised why such a good place was wasted.

With Magazine (06.2008)

Find this and more in All About Masha Facebook page ([Magazine] WITH folder)

Anyway I was going through the many photos I had until I came across one with Masha standing in front of several pictures he took (the above) which I was informed was the subject of Photo Stage III and then I suddenly realised that shadow behind looked so familiar and it sort of hit me; he was on Hashima at one point taking those pictures! I never knew that and once I knew that, I went in search for information. It is fitting of course for a boy from Nagasaki to take a picture of an iconic landmark of Nagasaki, apart from the fact that it was one of 2 places where the Atomic Bomb hit it but I am happy Masha chose a different aspect for his photography. I have never seen a video of anyone walking on Hashima and I was able to see that thanks to News Zero's special on Masha on Hashima broadcast in May 2008. Needless to say I was very very excited, and still am. Frankly I know nothing about Photo Stage I and II. The information is are gathered from Masha Heart and the tireless work of Izumisano in translating his words to English, without which frankly I wouldn't know what the heck he is saying although I would know he is saying something momentous about his life and his hometown Nagasaki. Watching News Zero, I see Nagasaki has more to offer than just its terrible past. Hashima may be in ruins but it is fascinating, creepy and irresistibly scary. Yes, all abandoned places are scary. I am still wondering why the place was not bought and made into some resort by some rich consortium.

Anyway more information about the Photo Stage I, II and III after Read More link.

What is Photo Stage
From my understanding, an exhibition of Masha's other passion in life, photography. Photo Stage III is by him, but I am not sure about I and II, as to whether they're limited to photographs exclusively by him since from images I see he was his own subject matter. Some clarification would be appreciated if you do know.

General video on all 3 exhibitions can be viewed here at youku

My Comments
I must add that honestly looking at the screencaptures, I wonder sometimes whether the audience are there for his pictures or because of his fame? Is he such a good photographer that such exhibitions is warranted? I am sure some of you may wonder than too, that when a celebrity write a book with pictures, do the purchasers buy for the text or for the pictures? Same goes for Photo Stage. Cynical me say yes indeed because I wouldn't even bothered until I heard Masha's name and curiosity will make me go. I suspect that is so with Photo Stage I. But if his pictures are any good, then Photo Stage II would be a gathering of fans of his works. Photo Stage III would be him established as a photographer in his own right. I have seen some of his photos, such as the Beijing Olympics 2008, some are impressive, some rather lonely and depressing looking because of his love of black and white plus solitary figures. When I saw some of those of Hashima in whatever sources I can find, the colours or lack of it highlights the state of ruins of the place, the utter desolate loneliness. If that is his intention, I think he is a pretty good photographer. After all, all images are the interpretation of the person who takes it, and highly personal as well. We see them, we interprete them but in the end only the photographer can tell us what he actually meant by it. I may dismiss all his other photography works but having seen just a handfull of his photos on Hashima (and frankly nothing else since all press seems to be on that alone so I wouldn't know what else is in Photo Stage III), I am impressed with the images, especially the boat ride either approaching or going away from that island. That is my opinion and I would certainly like to see him do a full scale photography on China a place steep in history and see how he combines his camera which is a modern technology, his keen eyes which is that of a current person and a very old city in China dating thousands of years of history. I wonder how the picture would come out in black and white?


~記憶の箱庭~/Kioku no Hakoniwa/Miniature Garden Of Memories

Exhibition Dates
2006.12.06 ~ 2007.01.14


Subject Matter
I don't know. Will add more info when I do find out.



~出逢いの記憶~/Deai no Kioku/Recollections Of Encounters

Exhibition Dates
2007.07.28 ~ 2007.09.24


Subject Matter
I don't know. Will add more info when I do find out.



~残響~ /Zankyou/Reverberations/Echoes in the Hear

Exhibition Dates
2008.04.05 ~ 2008.05.25


Subject Matter

Some scene of Masha on the island to be viewed at Tudou

This is a must read. The following poem were posted in front of the entrance to this exhibition, written by Masha. They're his feelings on Nagasaki. Japanese text to Chinese translated by Midori, then to English by Izumisano of Masha Heart.






福山雅治 2008.04

Although I would hope that you can feel something when you look at the photos, it is good enough for me that you had come all the way to Nagasaki just for the photo exhibition. The streets here are full of history and are very beautiful; we have delicious food and the people are warm and sincere. If you are able to come in person and experience the charms of Nagasaki yourself, that would make me very happy.

Reverberation: Echoes in the Heart

The sirens in August
Street trams in the dusk
The Brass band on the rooftop after school
Wind blowing across Asahi-Ohashi bridge
Steam pipes on unfamiliar foreign ships
The Live House in the back street
Spring rains splattering the stone steps

Sounds which were always there
As a teenager strumming the guitar and singing
In the midst of it
As the scenery unknowingly seeps in
These sounds have been etched in the mind

Those times have ended
I have also changed
And have moved far away
From the scenery where I once was

But when I think about my hometown
Those sounds of yesteryears
Still echo in my heart
Sounds of the streets
Sounds of my hometown
Sounds of myself

Fukuyama Masaharu 2008.04

Reading Materials
Although some articles do touch on Photo Stage III, but since Photo Stage III is primarily about Masha's recollection of his hometown that is Nagasaki, the following translated articles will mostly talk about Masha and Nagasaki generally. And Part 2 especially is significant as Masha rarely talks politics, war and such and here he talks about atomic bombing, Nagasaki and the meaning of peace. Very interesting collections of his thoughts on Nagasaki. All translated by Izumisano of Masha Heart.

- as expressed in his radio show, ANN [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]


I have with me the News Zero [2008.05] broadcast on Masha, Photo Stage III and Gunkanjima Island which is RAW version but offers a rare glimsp into the life of Masha as a photographer and of course a view of the Island on close ups. The quality is excellent. The link for download is no longer available and so if you're interested, just drop your email using Post A Comment and I will email you the download link. If you don't wish to post your email here, just send me an email at funnlim(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Make sure you specify the file you want. As always this is for your private viewing only and you're not to upload/repost in any blogs, forums or sites including those video uploading services. Anyone interested, please do forward them to this post.


File size


addison said...

nice! his photos are really well-taken. please send me the link! thanks!

Funn Lim said...

Addison, your email address please. You may send me an email at funnlim(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Silvia Jacinto said...

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Sometimes I receive some media files or stuff about Masha that can't be publicly shared, but I can however share privately, such as concert clips, etc. I would love to share whatever I got with you, as a way of disseminating information of Masha to the masses. You probably have all that stuff if you're an experienced fan, but if you are new to Masha or does not know other experienced fans, you probably won't have most of what I can send to you. I don't send emails often, since frankly I don't get such stuff often but when I do, I will send the link if I am allowed to do so. So do join my contact list but be reminded, you're not allowed to repost/redistribute/reupload whatever I send you whether in whole or in part. Anyone interested, redirect them to my blog and ask them to join my contact list. But this is only open to those who will answer the questions in the form below accurately. If you're successful, you will receive quite a few emails since I group all links together into categorised documents. If you're not, I will email and inform why (probably answered some wrongly, such as title not in Romaji or wrong answer). Once you found the answer, please RESUBMIT THE FORM. If you did not receive my emails (whether the many materials or rejection email) within 3 days of joining, please do resend your request. Thanks for joining!



I do not know Masha, nor am I affiliated with him, BROS or AMUSE. This is a private fan site built by a fan for fans of common interest. The graphics were adapted from various free usage vectors and cliparts found in the internet. All pictures are collected from various sources. All text are either by me and/or collected from various sites and forums. Any enquiry please see "CONTACT".
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