Masaichi Hasegawa “Mountain Village Scenes— Nanmokumura, Gunma Prefecture 2006–2013”

Konica Minolta Plaza

poster for Masaichi Hasegawa “Mountain Village Scenes— Nanmokumura, Gunma Prefecture 2006–2013”

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Nanmokumura is the name of several villages that dot the landscape of the Nanmoku River, which runs through the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. Due to the absence of flat land, these settlements tend to be long and narrow with steep slopes formed by fields cut into the mountainsides. Once the site of the silkworm and whetstone industries, Nanmokumura later became a producer of konjac potatoes in the Meiji period and in its golden age was said to “reach all the way to heaven” with its mountain fields full of the crop. Today, Nanmokumura leads the nation in its declining birthrate and aging population. The number of residents has fallen by one third in the past decade, and the average age of its population rises every year. It is thought that within ten years a considerable number of its houses will be empty.

Driven by a desire to show the beauty of these mountain villages full of greenery and clear water where the presence of history can be felt in its homes, photographer Masaichi Hasegawa has spent the past eight years documenting the state of Nanmokumura. He hopes to continue this project for as long as possible.

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from May 09, 2014 to May 19, 2014

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