Imaging the Rural: Modernity and Agrarianism in Hiroshi Hamaya’s Snow Land Photographs
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-18, 14:13 authored by Tunney, R
Th is article analyses the Snow Land photographic series by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Hamaya [1915–1999] in relation to issues of modernity, nostalgia and discourses of agrarianism in 1940s and 1950s Japan. Hamaya is one of Japan’s most celebrated and infl uential documentary photographers at both a national and international level. His Snow Land series presents an idyllic view of life in the small mountain villages of Japan’s Niigata Prefecture, emphasising a sense of community and spiritual meaning that Hamaya perceived to be lacking in modern society. In this sense, Snow Land constituted a critique of modernity. Th rough engagement with theorists such as Heidegger, Foucault and Barthes, as well as critical writings on agrarian ideology, this article investigates the underlying assumptions that govern Hamaya’s depiction of snow country, demonstrating that the series is shaped by a modern worldview and is tied to ideological discourses of agrarianism.
Publication titleNew Voices
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
PublisherThe Japan Foundation
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statement© The Japan Foundation Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/