Hiyayaakko | Blog
I'm a Finland born photographer living in Japan. I take photos of people.
photographer, Finnish, cameraman, カメラマン、international, professional, 写真家, 写真, people, human, woman, Japan, Japanese, Jaakko Saari, ヤーッコ
blog,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-3.7,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

Love needs both invisible feeling and visible action.

I took her photo

I was taking pictures in local area in Yokohama few days ago. There is my favorite photo development / old camera shop. I met this lovely lady in the old shopping street and took her photo.

Birthday Present

My friend in Kyoto sent me a birthday present. I realized that photo books have bigger meaning if we receive them from someone.


Artist is always alone, like submarine in deep sea. But sometimes we can make radio communications to others, and we get response, even though it may be garbled, messed up information.

But for a brief moment, we can make out the signal, separate it from the noise, hear the code that makes some sense.

To be not alone, it’s crazy dream. But isn’t it the only reason there is hope.. to get a ping back, echo from the deep

Empty wall

I built a large acoustic panel last year to put in my room. I wanted to make it really cool, like the ones you see in studios with fancy wood grain. I wanted to put diagonal wood beams to it to give it really professional look, but my measurements failed, and I only had wood enough to make them run horizontally. Thus the whole thing ended up looking like a stupid bed that is raised against the wall. The thing is full of glass wool.

But I noticed that this contraption made a little or no difference to neither the sound recording in my room or the sound from my speakers. Its same with or without it, so I pulled it apart today to make more negative space in my room.

All my effort became nothing, and it could be argued that this was all completely meaningless endeavor. I would have better of spending that money to photo books or my favorite albums. But it’s meaningless also to spend time thinking about it now. It’s done and gone.

Isn’t art exactly like this kind of process? We have big effort do something and then it just vanishes like in thin air and we are empty again? And for sure sometimes this all feels meaningless. Are we just blind to see it?


I want to restart my blog. I want to write free and gay, without too much editing, just for fun. The reason why I have been kept starting and quitting this blog is that I have always started to feel that this blog should be more properly written, and always on topic. But I don’t find it fun or genuine, so I stop, always.

We humans are not such linear beings. We are not supposed to make sense all the time. What I need in my life most now is a kind of pointless wandering, time. My photo needs it too. So I hope this blog would be a simple and naked reflection to my life.

I visited Finland last month with my son. Going abroad with him just two of us first time was a dream came true. For me it was perhaps the enjoyable to go through the rituals of traveling just with him this time. I explained him how jet airplanes work and why they fly so high in the sky. We checked our luggage, eat the cute lunch in the plane (yes, Finnair still include green soba buckwheat noodles in their lunch as although their lunch is completely western), breathed in Scandinavian air, and played with snow.

Finland, a country where my sweet home is. I moved to Japan ten years ago.

Why is it that we always expect our hometown to stay the same? Our lives change constantly, plate tectonics shift, world economy and geopolitical situation is in flux, this ebb and flow, moon cycle, and so on.. Nature likes to change. But when we take the journey back home, even when it’s not thousand kilometers in the sky, we expect everything be just like it was when we left, so many years ago.

Of course, it isn’t. During those years of our absence, people have been living their lives, went on and about,  gained age and some of them got sick and passed away. The scenery has changed; it doesn’t smell like it used to. Cracks have appeared on the walls that used to be the foundation of our childhood. What used to be a solid, safe roof is now slightly leaking.

My uncle’s book, “Kolme Huonetta” has a poem in it, “Prelude foreshadows the end of the composition”. Beginning of a winter has a promise of it’s end. When our plane took off from Helsinki Vantaa, somehow the thought formed in my mind, “it’s not just sad that we die”.

I bought just two things with me from Finland, Haruki Murakami’s short story collection Birthday Stories,  and Banana Yoshimoto’s Lizard. Both of them are in English, not in Japanese. There’s something in these books what makes me feel comfortable. Perhaps I haven’t changed that much.



June Monologue, Day 17

Recently I have had headache, like this pressure behind my right eye. It comes and goes. I think it might be just sinutisis. So I am having my own treatment for it, drinking lots of water and a special herb tea. (Plus a humidifier). It has always kept this at bay and I think it will this time too. I don’t like taking pain killers because they feel like cheating. I want my body to tell me the truth.

There is possibility that it is not sinutisis and it’s something worse. I am actually glad about this possibility, because this forces me to saviour every moment of the remaining time I have left in this world. We only have now.

It’s rainy season in Japan. Somehow I have to write. I don’t know why.

Recently I saw exhibition of my friend Yoshimi Yokoyama, called “Praha, Monologue”. I was so impressed. How long has it been since I felt so much about pictures? Yokoyama’s photos made a permanent influence in my life. Photography should be honest and innocent like this. ”Praha, Monologue” is a rare flower .

There was another thing about the exhibition that really moved me, it was the music, Avalon Sutra by Harold Budd that was played in the gallery. I can understand exactly why the owner of the gallery chose it.


The owner of the gallery was  so kind and warm hearted. Even my 4 year old son got a  crying fit, (he just wanted to stay longer, didn’t want to return), the owner just smiled and made us relax. He even sent me a warm message afterwards and asked me to visit again with my son.

I continue to insist that art is necessary for life. We cannot live with food and water alone. We maybe able to survive, but surviving can not substitute living. We need emotional impact to drive us to seek for a higher place. Art is that impact.

Beauty is actually kind of dangerous, like the title of Harold Budd’s song, “It’s Steeper Near the Roses” says. Art needs risk, like standing on incline. But if we never stand on incline, we will never get higher.

If there is one thing that I have hold on to during all these years that have passed, it is to assert that I am not afraid of beauty. I will not run away from the beautiful place. We will get tired at entertainment, but never beauty.

Good thing about growing older is that we start to care less about the little nuisance. Slowly we start to realise that we have nothing to lose. We will surely pass away. Absolutely, completely certainly, there’s no question about it. Even gods will die. We will slow down.

Freedom does not mean a plane ticket to somewhere. I don’t want to go to other place. I will choose my thoughts by myself. I cannot choose the wind I am facing,  but I can choose my approach, my attitude, like in aviation world.

I am 37 years old. It feels like a fresh start.