KONBINI monthly haikyo feature – Nichitsu

February 23, 2015

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London/Paris based magazine KONBINI are running a monthly feature based on my haikyo photo projects. The first one was last month, the story of Waterdown Elementary School. This month they decided to run with my first ever haikyo exploration, the abandoned mining town of Nichitsu. Check it out here…

Now on Tumblr @benjaminbeech

February 18, 2015

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I recently started a Tumblr page, as @benjaminbeech, which you can see here. I will use this page for personal work shot just on film. Once I have been through my back catalogue of negatives and posted the ones I like best I will start adding new work too. Please check it out, and feel free to follow! Thanks.

Western Village

February 09, 2015

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Western Village or Western Mura (ウェスタン村) in Japanese was an American West themed amusement park built in the mountainous prefecture of Tochigi, a couple of hours drive north of Tokyo in the early 1970s. Due to a lack of customers it closed its doors to the public in 2006 and has been sat decaying ever since, I went to check it out recently…

New Monthly Feature with KONBINI Magazine – Waterdown ES

January 26, 2015

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ハイキョライフ - London/Paris based magazine KONBINI are running a monthly feature based on my haikyo photo projects starting this month, you can check the first one out here. And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for new stories each month…

Waterdown Elementary School

January 02, 2015

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Waterdown Elementary School was built on the top of a small mountain in a remote village just below the Japanese Southern Apls in 1879. The school was eventually abandoned in 1970. Since then the mountain has suffered from a landslide making access almost impossible, check out my adventure to see what was left of the school here…

DBS 18th Anniversary Metalheadz History Sessions

December 24, 2014

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DBS Tokyo celebrated their eighteenth anniversary over the weekend with a special Metalheadz History Sessions event at Unit in Daikanyama. Headlining the bill was of course Goldie who played a monster back to back set with Doc Scott. With support on the main stage from Makoto (Human Elemants), Tendai (Swerve), MC Cardz and MC Lucid. Photos here…

In Praise of Shadows 陰翳礼讃

December 10, 2014

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Darkness causes us no discontent, we resign ourselves to it as inevitable. If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty. Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.

Junichiro Tanizaki - In Praise of Shadows discusses Japanese aesthetics in their various dimensions – from architectural design to the presentation of food, from ideals of beauty to the use of colour – by contrasting them with Western thought. It is Tanizaki’s view that Japan differs from the West in the distinct relationship it establishes with light and shadow.

Having read In Praise of Shadows recently for the third time, I set out to explore the use of light, shadow and colour in traditionally designed buildings around Tokyo and Kyoto during autumn, a time when both light and colour are rich in abundance…

Abandoned Power Plant in Tea Country

December 03, 2014

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 In a part of Japan famous for its green tea and green mountains sits a large concrete power plant that was built in 1931, and abandoned in 1959. The power plant is surrounded by neat rows of farmed tea thick forest, with a river separating it from the nearest road. On a recent road trip in the area I tried to get inside, and heres what I found…

Northwest Elementary School

November 26, 2014

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Northwest Elementary School sits quietly behind an active shrine in a rural suburb of one of Tokyo’s neighboring prefectures. I went to see what was left of the school almost half a century after it closed. Come and take a look at what was inside…

The Lonely Train Yard

November 20, 2014

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Not too far south of Tokyo sits a yard of retired Japanese trains of varying ages. The oldest residents are two steam locomotives dating back over half a century, they sit proudly on their patch with their steam engines still intact, slowly decaying under the watchful eye of Mt Fuji on the horizon. The other carriages are diesel and electric locomotives that are much newer but just as lonely and dilapidated in appearance. Come check them out…

Thicket Creek Elementary School

November 05, 2014

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Thicket Creek was an Elementary School first built in 1872 to serve the residents of a remote village in the Japanese Alps. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1900 and construction of a new building was completed ten years later. Over the next fifty years or so, as populations in neighboring villages dwindled the school underwent several renovations to accommodate students from nearby schools that could no longer justify staying open. Thicket Creek ES finally closed its doors in the early 1980s for the exact same reason. The school has been sat empty since, gathering dust in its quiet mountainous surroundings. I recently went to see whats left of the school, come and take a look…

DBS and RBMA Present Mala and Coki (Digital Mystikz)

October 25, 2014

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Saturday October 18th saw Mala and Coki return to Unit in Tokyo to play a monster three hour set at DBS – this was a Redbull Music Academy event and the vibe was beyond lively! Goth Trad also threw down a two and a half hour set with support from Sivarider, Lao, Ekali, Stitch, Ken and Testsuji Tanaka. Click above to see photos from the night…

町の女

October 22, 2014

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I met up with Japanese rock/pop artist Mana Hardcore in a Showa Era styled suburb of Tokyo last weekend to make some photos together. The streets of this town are sporadically scattered with shop fronts and advertising boards from a bygone era of Japan, some of these genuine artifacts, others not. The photos will be used by her in a future project, but she gave me permission to share some of the shots here, click above to see more…

Stills from ‘Stuck’ a short film by Jesse Freeman

October 20, 2014

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Last night Jesse Freeman had the screening for his latest short film ‘Stuck’ at Just Another Space in Tokyo – the place was jam packed! Stuck is the companion to his last short film ‘Back Yet Forth‘. Click above for stills and behind-the-scenes shots I took during filming earlier this year…

Jesse Freeman Presents Stuck – Cast and Crew

October 14, 2014

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This Sunday, October 19th, Jesse Freeman will show his latest short film ‘Stuck’ on the rooftop of Just Another Space in Tokyo from 6pm (go there). Stuck is the companion to his last short film ‘Back Yet Forth’, which was released earlier this year. I joined Jesse and his crew for the making of his latest film documenting the day with a series of still images, which will be projected onto a screen on Sunday after the movie. So make sure you come along and check both the movie and the images out!

In the meantime, click above for Polaroid images of the cast and crew involved in the film, shot on location…