A photographic and anthropological study of the fascinating cultures of both rural and urban Japanese society.
My name is Nigel Jones and I am a 20-year old photographer from Los Angeles, CA. My summer (June-July), will be spent in Japan, photographing, skateboarding and conducting research for the thesis I am planning to write as a Anthropology student in the honors program at UC Berkeley. My thesis is going to be on the difference between the lifestyle Japanese and American populations in rural areas that are relatively close to huge urban areas. In my case I will be comparing Los Angeles and Tokyo. The rural areas in Japan that I will be spending my five weeks in, are the Yamanashi region, Aokigahara forest, and Mt. Fuji– all places relatively near Tokyo.
This is my first time going to Japan, I am excited to wits end and in preparation I’ve been working many hours a week while in and selling nearly all of my possessions to afford my trip. The thesis is crucial to me, not only because of my intense desire to do research but because of the stipend that is presented to approved theses. This stipend from school would help circumvent the egregious cost of living in the bay area and help make my studies at UC Berkeley plausible.
Now that I’ve saved up my money for the trip, I have enough to survive in Japan. However, I plan to do extensive photography both for my own personal projects and to supplement my thesis research. My photographs will be portraits of those who live in these rural & urban areas and documentary work on the day to day life of those both in rural Yamanashi and Tokyo. Presently my medium for photography is a 6x7cm Camera. It uses painfully expensive, but breathtaking gorgeous food called medium format film or 120 film. The photographs that come from the camera are not comparable to anything else, the sharpness, vividness, and portrayal of light, especially the romantic light of sunrise and sunset is bar none.
In exchange of my prints, zines, and tortillas, I hope I will garner enough donations to afford enough color and black & white film for my journey. I am adherent to two types of film, Portra for Color and Tri-X for Black & White, resulting in each roll costing about $5. Since I will be in Japan for 5 weeks and plan to shoot on minimum 20 rolls a week, I am hoping for a donation of $500 to help buy one hundred rolls of film. Any additional donations would be received with the utmost gratitude as they will allow me more avenues to explore in my art and research. Any extra money over the limit will go to more film, Super 8 cartridges for a short movie, more paper to make darkroom prints, and higher quality zine paper! It is a honor that you have spent your time reading this and your donation is both instrumental and appreciated in completing my project.
Thank You Very Much!
Here are samples of my photographs & videos below
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