March 11th.

Last time I wrote about a photography project I was starting on foreign refugees in Japan, especially the Nagoya area.

I started shooting it properly on the 11th March – 10 minutes after the earthquake hit Tohoku. I planned to meet Moses, a Ugandan refugee, at 2.45 in central Nagoya. The earthquake hit at 2.46. He was a few minutes late and while I was waiting the earthquake hit and Japan changed forever.

But we got off lightly down here in Nagoya so we had no issues about sticking to the daily plan and going about as normal. But that was only because none of us really knew the extent of what had just happened.

I captured this as one of friend was on the phone trying to find out how bad the quake really was.

Moses, nearest to camera, has been in the Nagoya Immigration Detention Centre 4 times and has had a couple of articles written about him in the Japan Times. The latest one is here.

I thought it would be difficult to find refugees outside Tokyo but that’s not the case. In just a few weeks I have met refugees from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
None of them came to Japan because they wanted to. They came here because the Japanese Embassy in their home countries were the first to issue visas.

Last week I photographed a Ugandan/Tanzanian family. I’ll post some photos from that next time.

前回、名古屋周辺に住んでいる外国の難民の写真プロジェクトについて書きました。

前は軽く撮影を始めましたが、本番は3月11日でした。東北地方太平洋沖地震の直後でした。ウガンダの難民、モーゼスさんに名古屋で、14:45に待ち合わせをしてました。彼は少し遅れてきて、待っている間に地震が来ました。

名古屋で震災の影響はほとんどありませんでしたから、予定通りに撮影を始めました。その時は、地震や津波のひどさをだれも分かりませんでした。1人の女性が電話で地震について、知り合いと話していた時に上の写真を撮ってました。

右側にいるモーゼスさんは、名古屋入国管理局の移民拘留センターに4回拘留されたらしい。その話について The Japan Timesの記事がいくつかありました。一番最近のがここです(英語)。

東京以外に住んでいる難民を探すのはとても難しいと思いましたが、そうではなかった。様々な国から来日した難民が名古屋にたくさんいて、日本に来たかった方は一人もいません。母国の日本大使館が他の国の大使館より先にビザを渡してくれたから、彼らは日本に来たのです。

先週タンザニアやウガンダの家族を撮影しました。今度写真をアップします。

This was taken after the second earthquake/aftershock on March 11th. We'd just come back inside after everything started wobbling - and Nagoya is about 600kms from where the tsunami hit. The woman on the phone was trying to work out how bad it was.

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