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Diary from UK #01|Yukitaka Amemiya

Yukitaka Amemiya is a photographer known for his works in artistic photography and music media including Tabito Nanao, Dengaryu, Suiyōbi no Campanella and others. From summer into fall 2015, he accompanied Basement Jaxx on their England tour as his “warrior training” and relocated his headquarters to England last fall. “Diary from UK” is a photo diary that traces Amemiya’s experience with photos taken in England.

text&photo_Yukitaka Amemiya / edit_Kentaro Okumura

Hello. I am Yukitaka Amamiya, a photographer. After working as a photographer in Japan, mainly in the music scene, I moved my base of operations to London, England half a year ago.

It all started in the summer of 2015, when I accompanied Basement Jaxx on a tour as a photographer. After having the experience of staying at their home for three months, I made up my mind to make a more permanent move. I applied for a working holiday visa and was fortunate enough to be approved, and I moved to England last September and have been living there since.

For me, having started to feel a little bored with my activities in Japan, all the things I have seen and experienced in my life over the past three months, from values and situations that would be unthinkable in Japan, to a sense of separation between music and everyday life, to the interesting people I have encountered who are so different from the people you meet in Japan, have been new and exciting to me.

In this series, my goal is to show material about life in England, everyday happenings and concerts and musicians, just like a sort of diary, without any specific strategy or agenda.

I hope viewers are able to use this as a window to freely and casually enjoy a culture and scenes that are different from Japan.

My day to day scenery

This is the street in Whitechapel where I live. The neighborhood around this street is home to a lot of people from Bangladesh, and you see a lot of women who cover their faces and hands with cloth. There are also a lot of shops on this street that sell Muslim-style clothing and Bangladeshi restaurants (with curries and other such dishes).

This is how the markets look that fill the space next to the street. I often buy food there because of how unusually cheap the fruits and vegetables are. For example, you can buy 10 oranges or a box of strawberries for just one pound (approximately 140 yen). Depending on the product, there are good and bad specimens, so everyone picks and chooses carefully.

An old, famous bagel shop on Brick Lane in my neighborhood. It is a rarity in London in that it is open 24 hours a day, and I often stop in on my way back from the clubs or at other such hours. It is famous for its Salt Beef Bagels, filled almost to bursting with a generous amount of meat. Somehow there ended up being a famous bagel shop open 24 hours a day almost right next to me. It’s such a mystery how I ended up next to a strange 24-hour shop….

Near Brixton Station, located southward across the River Thames, was the site of a rock & roll party. Of course, admission was free and open to anyone. Reggae could be heard playing at a considerable volume and everyone was letting it all hang out. This chaotic party, peaceful but half-crazy, continued until morning. Apparently, the friend who invited me woke up at midday the next day lying on the ground….

Searching for homeless talent to perform in a music video led to the discovery of this man near Liverpool Street Station. His name is Irish. He is 40 years old and said that he has been living in East London for the past 23 years. After negotiations, he agreed to do a shoot. The social standing of homeless people in England is a bit different than in Japan, and I personally feel that their human rights are even more respected than they are in my home country.

You hardly ever see a homeless person with a dog in Japan. His dear canine friend is also his indispensible partner in earning a living. He was a cool, nice guy.

This is the relaxed way I’ve decided to present my photos of my life, experiences and events in England. My plan is to add updates once per month, but I may update more frequently if there are special events or other such happenings.

Looking forward to catching up with you again. Have a nice day!



Yukitaka Amemiya

Yukitaka Amamiya bought a camera with the goal of meeting musicians and started his career in photography in 2009. With a main focus on the Japanese music scene, he has photographed a large number of musicians, both mainstream and underground. His stint as a photographer for a 2015 Basement Jaxx tour led to his decision to move to London, England in September 2016. He currently works as a photographer from his base in London.