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The harsh landscapes of the northern
island of Hokkaido are amongst Japan’s
most uninhabitable. Its people endure
long hard winters with a climate closer to
that of Europe’s northern extremes than
mainland Japan. Kushiro in the South
East has less snow than other areas of the
island but this only means that the deep
winter temperatures become significantly
colder than anywhere else. The climate also
affects the temperament of it’s inhabitants
who generally have more patience than
their neighbours on the mainland, they
understand the power of nature, constantly
reminded of its extremes, even developing
their own vocabulary to describe the cold.
The Japanese history of the island is still
young however, the first settlers came here in
1869, pioneers from all across Japan adopting
influences from Russia and the native Ainu
people as they struggled to make a life in this
new environment.
The Tanaka family have been breeding
working horses (Ban’ei as they’re known in
Japan) for 71 years on their farm in Tsurui,
a remote area just outside Kushiro. Tanakasan’s
father, a first generation migrant from
Hyogo started farming after their family
restaurant was destroyed by fire, back then
they had buffalo, sheep, goats, turkeys and
even ducks. Now 79 he still works the long
ten hour days together with his wife required
to manage the 28 horses they currently have
along with a stable of cattle.

meisai

About the Author

Lee Basford
meisai Tokyo
Lee is a graphic designer, artist and photographer working in and around the overlap of art & design, blending these disciplines to create work for arts, film, fashion, video games and music companies that include Sony, UNIQLO, Nike, Capcom, Sega, EMI, Parlophone, Saatchi, and Artificial Eye. He has written, illustrated, & photographed for the magazines Paper-Sky, Dazed & Confused, Tokion, Level & designed typefaces for T26 and Fountain fonts. Since 2000 he has exhibited both as a solo artist and collectively in England, Japan, USA, Germany, China & Ireland. His work has featured in numerous books and design journals, including; Creative Review, +81, 200% Cotton, The 3D Type Book, Cutting Edge Illustration, Concrete 2 Canvas and Graphic Britain. In 2007 he was invited by UNIQLO to their Creative Awards ceremony in Japan where he received a Judges Choice Award and was more recently invited to take part in the Lightning Bolts + Innovation Art Show curated by Nike at the Beijing Olympics.

Publish Date  July 14, 2011

Dimensions  Standard Portrait  96 pgs ProLine Uncoated Paper

Category  Travel

Tags  , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

talonpress

talonpress says

Beautiful documentary.

posted at 07:53pm Dec 02 PST

walterl

walterl says

Wonderful work. love it.

posted at 01:42am Aug 10 PST

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