Kousuke Kitajima Shows You the Many Faces of Mt. Fuji and Beyond
Updated: May 10, 2020
Hailing from Shizuoka, Japan, Kousuke Kitajima’s favorite subject stands majestic and tall, revealing its many faces with each passing season. Kitajima’s life-long passion: to capture as many special moments of Mt. Fuji and its surroundings as possible. Trusty camera in hand, he visits the mountain often, and so far, the mountain has never disappointed.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
Capturing the beauty of Japan’s four seasons is my life’s work; to show the world the beauty and culture of my country. Every morning, Mt. Fuji greets me with a different look - a different face. So I go outside and capture it. A different mountain every day!
Every morning, Mt. Fuji greets me with a different look - a different face.
What drives you to keep taking pictures? Q: I have always loved photography. As a child, I always liked to take photos, mostly focusing on portraits as a student. But later in life, I came upon the realization that photography is one of the very few tools we have that allow us to capture moments in time. To freeze a moment and leave a perfect impression of it. Now that I’m a nature photographer, my goal is to capture specific moments of the changing scenery and world around me. The idea that people outside of Japan - or even my grandmother, who can no longer leave the house - may see my photos and discover Japan’s beauty through them, is hugely motivating to me.
Q: Is there a ritual involved? A mantra that you adhere to? Well, as my artistry depends on my camera, I take great care of it on a daily basis. I clean and maintain it before and after every shoot. As for a mantra… a phrase I’ve always loved is ‘Seize the day’, and it applies to photography as much as it does to life. We have no idea what fate has in store for us, how long we’ll live or when we’ll die - or when the fleeting opportunity for a great shot will pass by. So, yes, I try to appreciate each moment and live it fully.
Photography... allows us to freeze a moment and leave a perfect impression of it.
Q: Do you believe that artists have a specific role in today’s society? My parents always told me to live my life with awareness and take responsibility for my actions. I believe the artist’s role and responsibility is to make people think. To reflect on a specific thing or simply to be made aware of it. For example, something that is important to me is the preservation of tradition and culture, which, in today’s world, seems to be fading out of existence. In Hamamatsu city, there is a traditional theater called Urakawa Kabuki which, unfortunately, has had its shows cancelled this year. I take pictures of the theater’s activities, which allows me to do my part in preserving the art, and thereby introduce it to both Japanese and international audiences. It’s my way of raising awareness of this disappearing form of art, as well as helping it continue to exist. Q: Kousuke, what do you love? Photography - honestly, I think about it every day.
Q: What do you hate? I hate tomatoes. I haven’t put one in my mouth since kindergarten. Q: If you could have a super-power, what would it be? I would like to have the power to teleport. In landscape photography you want to be at a certain location at a very specific time, in order to get the perfect shot. I would use my powers of teleportation to get there at just that right moment. Q: What advice would you give a young photographer? Find something you love and pursue it fully.
Digital or print? Print Black or white? Black Love or hate? Hate Favorite color? Green Favorite location? Mt. Fuji, obviously Favorite musician? Bon Jovi Favorite food? - Mushrooms But not tomatoes? Not tomatoes.