Ten Disciples by Tsutomu Yamagata 2ed
Signed copies in stock
I had a child at an age far older than the age at which my parents had me. My son is my second generation. Around the same time, my aged father was diagnosed with cancer.
Searching for alternative medical treatments, I learned of a remote valley in Northern Japan where cancer patients go. The rocks in this valley emit intense radiation and boiling water flows in the river.
In between rising columns of smoke I could discern recumbent human forms dotted around the mountainside. On first viewing I was reminded of a painting of Nirvana, the supreme enlightenment. The painting, where Buddha lay In the center of ten great disciples, depicts the final stage, where all Bonno (earthly desires) have entirely disappeared.
Tsutomu Yamagata, afterword Ten Disciples
The Tamagawa baths, situated in the mountains of Japan’s Akita prefecture, have long been believed to hold medicinal powers. Today, the area attracts cancer patients from all over the country, who hope that the naturally acidic hot springs and radioactive stones might heal them. The Japanese photographer Tsutomu Yamagata first heard of the baths when his father was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. His father died soon afterward and never went to to Tamagawa, but, three years ago, Yamagata began visiting the valley himself to photograph the pilgrims who hoped to benefit from its healing force. “I felt that I saw a representation of the Japanese view of life and death within this valley,” he said.
A CANCER PILGRIMAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF JAPAN By Andrea DenHoed