Taiwan v Japan… with Yosh N

There’s only around sixty miles of water between Taiwan and Japan, or to be more precise between the east coast of Taiwan and the Japanese island of Yonaguni… and while the cultures are very different, there is an affinity.

Actually I found it a bit strange how positive a view of Japan that the Taiwanese had, despite Taiwan having been formerly under Japanese imperial rule. I think instantly of Korea, another country colonised by Japan, whose people tend not to be so positive about Japan. But in Taiwan when we shot our issue (05) there, I met guys keen to show us old Japanese architecture, guys gloating about trips planned to holiday in Japan, and even one lad who I shot in Taipei but then actually met during our shoot week in Japan. And he loved it there!

An interesting thing about Yokohama is that it’s perhaps the most international of Japanese cities. There’s a lot of architecture reminiscent of the West there near the old port (which was once the only Japanese port open to foreign traders). And here in Chūkagai where we shot Yosh is the largest Chinatown in Japan, and actually the largest Chinatown in Asia. As much as guys in Taipei were pointing out places that looked like Japan, here was finally a place that looked like Taipei.

See more of Yosh N and read his fantastic story in Elska Magazine issue (09) Yokohama (Japan)


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