Yesterday, I found Miyoko Ihara’s photo book “Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat”. The photos are unique and heartwarming; I can feel the photographer’s intention clearly; the human connection between the cat and grandma.
In her website she says:
“My grandmother and her cat are always together. This is the photobook captured the everyday life of my grandmother, Misa who bends her self to the fields work with her cat Fukumaru.”
What especially delighted me about this book is what I call a kind of artistic honesty; Ihara doesn’t try to be artistic, the photos are simple captures of real life events, but are exactly that in creative and artistic way. Ihara’s framing and selection of subject feels very profound and honest; it must be the result of her years in Nippon Photography Institute that took her to this level.
Although I understand why some of the photos might be criticized as being a kind of cute, the meaning behind the photos is clear; they are honest description of human connection. Fukumaru is very unique, odd-eyed cat and his partner and the 87 years old grandmother whose eyes show experience of life are naturally suited to each other.
The life of this couple is well captured in their green, lush environment.
It’s remarkable what the photos show if you take a moment to really look at them. Sure they are cute photos, but they are also much more. It is unclear to me at this point whether the photos were taken digitally or with film camera, but in any case, the print is excellent with very rich and saturated colors.
Especially I was moved about the second last photo, a rainbow captured in a very beautiful way.
I highly recommend this photo book to anyone interested in photography.
Find out more about the photo book in: