Arts | World

100 Words: Life And Death Of A Japanese Racehorse

NPR | May 20, 2013 9:52 a.m. | Updated: June 5, 2013 6:57 a.m.

Contributed By:

Hajime Kimura

Currently, more than 95 percent of Japan’s racehorses are born and raised in the southeast of Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. The region was known for its war horses until the early 1900s. The intensity of competition at the horse races increased to the point that the new motto is “Losers must disappear.” Because of this competitive climate, about 90 percent of horses born with any kinds of defects are transformed into cat food, dog food and food for human consumption. Through this project, I hope to bring awareness to the life and use of horses in Japan.

Hajime Kimura is a Japanese photographer who was born in 1982. He studied at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo. Since 2006 he has been actively photographing in Asian countries, including China, India and Japan. He was most recently listed as an honorable mention in the FotoVisura grant for outstanding personal photography project. More of his work can be found on his website and on FotoVisura.com

100 Words is a series in which photographers describe their work, in their own words. Curated by Graham Letorney.


Curators Note:

Contrast can refer to the balance of dark and white tones, or it can refer to a mode of storytelling (to compare and contrast). Here, Kimura weaves a narrative that aptly balances both forms, having a nearly sublime balance. Through highly contrasted black-and-white images, we are confronted with equal doses of nostalgia and peril, with sleigh rides and with the slaughterhouse.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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