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
21986
blog,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.4.4,vc_responsive

Pray

sky1 (2)_processed
Food is not enough to live. It may be enough for surviving, but surviving cannot substitute living. We need spiritual nourishment to feel alive. We need a way to grow.

If this is a journey, then photography is a means of transportation for me. It is my way for getting to the other side.

I do not particularly like comfort. It’s not that I want to be uncomfortable, and we all need a sense of security too. But I do not take photos because it’s fun.

Sure, you could say it’s kind of fun. It is definitely not boring, and it’s such a great excuse to meet other people. And I like to discuss about photography with strangers. But it’s is sometimes like getting naked in front of others. They can see you, but you can’t see them; you are exposed while they are under protective covers. Especially when you exhibit your work.

How many times I have said that I will quit? Well, too many times. I should stop doing that. But somehow, I always end up returning, just like this.

Then, photography is a way for me to feel free and connected.

I wish we humans would have more opportunities to enhance ourselves spiritually in our daily lives.
This wish is my prayer. I pray for the spontaneous conversation to happen.

Scenery of my Childhood

Last week I got news that my mother, now 78 years old got a high fever. She is in the last stage of Alzheimer’s disease. My father said she may not have much time.

Her condition was stabilised now, but I decided to visit her just the same.

I am going to turn thirty seven next month. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years, it is how important it is to spend time with one’s parents. You might meet great people in this life, but nobody will be quite like them. It is something nobody else can never do to you.

I was adopted when I was two years old. I lived with my grandma my first two years, in a small house in middle of forest. She suffered from a heart condition, so I was adopted to a new family. That’s how I met my parents, Kirsti and Eino a wonderful people who had a dairy farm by a beautiful lake. My name “Saari” means island in Finnish, and this is related to actual island in the lake.

The scenery of my childhood was a beautiful one. There were birch and apple trees by the house, and there was nice view to the lake from the yard. Mother would bring coffee and bagel she made to enjoy under the birch trees during summer. I could ski or skate on the frozen lake during winter. The surface of the lake was glittering in sunshine, and a cuckoo would cry in those endless midsummer hours.

This time may never return, but I wish to convey this memory to my son. I am forever moved by the properness and kindness of these people.

12593460_10153969137839614_3808439926418592203_o

 

Cry

We are taught to be afraid the world. We are told not to show our tears because it’s a sign vulnerability, and that there might be someone who would hurt us. How many times have I heard a parent telling their child the words, “stop crying”? The very fundament of self confidence is destroyed, like cutting a nip of a flower.
We cannot believe ourselves in this world for this reason.

Blueberry

I call her Blueberry.

I am deeply thankful for those who let me to take pictures of them.
These pictures are my treasure.

IMG_6145_processed

My favorite words

I always feel sad when I see stars on women’s nipple.
Why I have to hide a part of my body?

A friend of mine a yoga teacher, said these words. She’s my hero.

As a photographer I could not agree more. Especially in Japan, woman’s body is a victim of both ignorance and over sexualisation. Loving and adoration of the beauty of woman’s bare skin is something incomprehensible for the mainstream audience in Japan, and they are sure to complain whenever there is as much as a nipple without a star covering it.

Yet, these same people silently approve gravia idol magazines and late night TV shows. They never complain about it.

I strongly believe women’s body should be freed from this miserable era.

Lensculture Exposure Awards Entry

20151115-DSCF2364

I joined Lensculture Exposure awards competition with a single image entry.  I feel quite satisfied with this image so I selected it spontaneously with innocent mind. If I had tried to select it with more effort I think I would have not been able to make a good choice. Of course this photo has no title, only title I could think of would be “Yoko”, the name of the woman in picture.

I can respect the photos Lensculture selects, and also the letter I received from the curator regarding my last entry was honest and very helpful.

When I ride my bicycle

When I was a young, my father taught me a basic bicycle maintenance. Just a basic things like checking the air in the tires, putting the chain back back on the gears when it fell off, and patching the tires if they got broken. His hands were strong and steady and I felt there was nothing he couldn’t fix.

You could say that in our world today, knowledge like that doesn’t make much difference. All you need to do is take the bicycle to the shop and they’ll repair and maintain it, often for free.  But I want to teach my son one day how to do those things, just the same.

I love riding a bicycle. Bicycles are simple, agile and quiet. They don’t make noise or pollution and they never block the traffic. On weekdays I take my son to the kindergarten by my pink electric assist bicycle, “a mother chariot” (mama-chari) as they are known in Japan. It’s super comfortable to drive. “Japanese women really are smart”, I thought when I tried it first time.

I love the feeling of fresh air on my cheek in morning when we ride together with my son. I say good morning to the handsome man checking the traffic near a construction site on the way, and sometimes I chat with some of the mothers in the kindergarten. Sometimes we talk about bicycles, sometimes about weather or other topics. These moments are treasures of my life.

I think about death a lot. I used to think about it when I was in my twenties but now even more. I might get hit by a truck when I’m crossing a road. Or maybe I fall on stairs and my skull cracks open. There is no way of knowing when, but one day for sure will be the last day. We must have courage to look at the beauty in our lives.. No, we must celebrate it!

Like many others such as me, I have spent my days in a fog, locking myself into my small space. I was stupid and selfish and hurt my friends who just wanted to help me. I said I was depressed, but actually I was just a shit head, as the crow outside my window said. Yet people forgave me. Ignoring my selfish words, they offered me their hand again. Thinking about my friends is like feeling the sunshine on my cheek.

There are many kinds of roads to choose, expressways, landscape routes and even small paths in the forest you can only walk. If this was your last day, which one would you choose?

There is a song by Blonde Redhead which has the line “But we’ll have fine time not getting there”. Perhaps arriving there doesn’t matter as much as how we spend the time getting there. The biggest present we can give to someone is time.

One day I will drive my bicycle in Kamakura and stare at the sea. It will be a perfect day, and I will say thanks for the crow. The sea will be gentle a there will be neither regret or fear. Perhaps my son will be driving his bicycle elsewhere, gaining mileage in his own odometer, looking at the same scenery.

You only live once.