Photography: Cameron Allan McKean

Cloth from a long, dark cave | Yaeyama weavers 1

For almost 400 years, the women of the Yaeyama Islands paid their taxes with pieces of fabric. Weaving was difficult work, and natural fibres and dyes were painstakingly harvested from mountains, jungles and farmland... »STORY

A romance older than anyone remembers| Yaeyama weavers 3

Kinue Ara holds up the sleeve of her indigo kimono, letting sunlight sink shadows into the woven fabric.... »STORY

The ‘boo’ at the end of Japan | Yaeyama weavers 2

Salty sea air blows across Ishigaki city and in through a second story window. It blows across wooden looms,... »STORY

A flood of green, light blue, and smoky brown | Asagao 3

Tokyo's rivers used to flood almost every year and turn the low-lying areas of the city into a mud sea.... »STORY

Flowers after a great fire | Asagao 2

There was nothing left after the March 1945 firebombing of Tokyo — nothing but cars, bodies and the charred... »STORY

The seeds of obsession | Asagao 1 Tokyo Morning Glory

Every year In Iriya, downtown Tokyo, the Japanese Asagao flower festival is held. The festival memorializes... »STORY

Coded Symbols at War / Kite Fighting

There is a single kite remaining, flying alone above Hamamatsu. As it is reeled back in, it looms over the... »STORY

Lost without a string | Hamamatsu Kite Fighting 2

Paper kites are floating in the sky, their light bamboo frames trailed by hundreds of meters of unspooling... »STORY

A shape, falling into the sky | Hamamatsu Kite Fighting 1

A tangled network of kite ropes is suspended in the air above a park along Hamamatsu’s coastline. The... »STORY

A lingering face in the void | Akita Mountain Hunters 3

There is no light outside. It is a dense and timeless blackness, pregnant with the unknown and fear; the kind... »STORY

The sharp end of a steel knife | Matagi / Akita Mountain Hunters 2

The bear-hunting matagi of northwestern Japan have always been locked in a violent embrace with the... »STORY

The wrath of a mountain | Akita Mountain Hunters 1

A bitterly cold wind lashes the faces of three hunters as they struggle through thigh-deep snow. Wearing... »STORY

Kozaki Natural Foods | The tofu maker

The shops and homes in Kozaki are islands in a sea of farmland. It's hard to say whether that farmland is... »STORY

Kozaki Natural Foods | Growing rice and beans

"My family has been farming here for maybe 20 generations. I've been doing this work since I was 18," says... »STORY

Kozaki Natural Foods | Masaru Terada: Good sake

"I had some strangely coloured sake in the beginning, because everything is natural it's so hard to control... »STORY

Shokichiro Takebayashi: Eroded, broken down, reformed

"I am a busshi, a carver of stone," says Shokichiro Takebayashi, standing outside his workshop... »STORY

Yoshiyuki Endo: Cutting stairs into a mountain

Fifteen thousand years ago, when Japan was almost uninhabited, Mt.Hakone erupted. Volcanic ash blanketed... »STORY

The dust from a blue-tinged gravestone

A mountain formed when Mt.Hakone erupted 15,000 years ago, and the stone inside that mountain is... »STORY

Saburo Hatakeyama: Keep your back to the outside

"My name is Shonosuke Kimura, but the name I was born with is Saburo Hatakeyama." One of the only people... »STORY

Yasushi Nishimura: Binding a tradition together everyday with string

It's just after lunchtime on a hot day during Tokyo's rainy season. We have entered the ground floor of the... »STORY

Hiroko Ichige: Bento boxes, green tea, sweets and Sumo.

Six in the morning in the old part of Tokyo. The September sun is already hot, beating down on the dirty... »STORY