"In 2009, freelance photographer Eriko Koga visited Mt. Kōya, home of a 1,200 year old Buddhist monastery in the mountains south of Osaka, for the first time. (...) Koga returned many times after her initial encounter to document with camera and film the feelings Mt. Koya evoked in her. With a desire to go even deeper than her regular short trips from Tokyo allowed, the photographer rented a small apartment in 2010 in the mountain village of Kōya where she stayed for one week every month for three years." (publisher's note)
The japanese photographer Eriko KOGA explained the effect that visiting the complex had on her:
"Okuno-in Temple exerted an especially strong pull on me. Its unique atmosphere overwhelmed all five of my senses. The air, the slow pace of mountain life and the kindness of the people brought about a serenity and security that permeated my entire being. (...) Mt. Kōya is a destination for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists alike, and is home to the Shingon sect of Esoteric Japanese Buddhism. The goal of Shingon is to simultaneously employ the "Three Mysteries" of body, speech, and mind to reveal one's nature. The mystery of the body is revealed through devotional gestures and the use of ritual instruments; of speech through sacred formulas; of mind through meditation. Koga's images are the result of a meditative eye wed to a camera, itself a ritualistic instrument controlled by actions and gestures bordering on the devotional. Through Issan, Koga reveals not just the nature of the monastery but perhaps something of her own nature as well. Her devotion to photographing the mountain is not unlike that of the Buddhists whose rituals played out before her lens.
Ultimately, my sense of myself as a person takes precedence over my photography. If only in a small way, I always try to be a better person. I believe it is this desire that inspires me to give voice to certain places or persons; it is a desire to address a deficiency I see in myself. When I am searching for something, it makes me devote myself more and more to the subject. Perhaps this is the kind of strength that underlies religious faith." (E.K., from the postscript)
Issan is available in three different cover colors (Usuzumi, Yuki, or Sakura) and in a special edition presented in a hand crafted wooden box.
"今年、高野山は弘法大師空海の手で密教の道場が開かれてから1200年目を迎える。その記念すべき春に、若手写真家・古賀絵里子が5年間にわたって撮影した渾身の写真集『一山』を刊行。荘厳な佇まいの寺院や祈りの山道、澄みきった大気、四季の情感あふれる自然のみならず、高野山に流れる静かな日常と、そこに暮らす人の体温が美しく脈打つような写真100点を収載。 表紙は全部で3色。桜の花びらを思わせる「さくら」、清…" (publisher's note)
Die japanische Fotografin Eriko KOGA besuchte erstmals 2009 das 1200 Jahre alte Mönchskloster Mt. Kōya. Sie war von der Atmosphäre so sehr beeindruckt, dass sie sich drei Jahre lang für jeweils eine Woche in einem Hotel einquartierte und das Kloster besuchte, um diese Atmosphäre (für uns) einzufangen; das Buch gibt diese Begeisterung in sehr ruhigen, farbprächtigen, starken Bildern exzellent wider.
Die Bilder weckten in mir Erinnerungen an zwei andere, großartige japanische Fotografinnen: Rinko KAWAUCHI und Lieko SHIGA!