My wife Yoshino and I live in Italy, my native country, since June 2019. We met five years ago while I was working in Japan where she was born and grew up. In March 2020, in the dramatic early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, we were beginning a new life together while falling in a proper waking nightmare.
We would live with a constant sense of danger, confusion and emptiness.And for me it was all too much. I froze. But then I realised that inside my biggest fear was lying my own salvation: being terrified by Yoshino’s death gave me the strength to be truly present and to connect with her in a more profound way. It opened my eyes and my heart. So I did the only thing that I could do: photographing Yoshino not the way she was but as I felt her.
And by doing it I discovered that I didn’t know her as much as I thought. And that I also had relied on an image of her that had been giving me self-confidence and comfort.
I had to look closer. And what I found was a different woman. And a different kind of reality. One where Yoshino could be free from what I wanted to see. Where she and her at times puzzling world would be glimpsed at and not understood. The viewfinder became a curtain halfway shut, a door ajar, our eyes a split second after waking up.
Two years later I still try to hold Yoshino tight, to not let her slip away. After all some of my fears are still there. But now through the camera we are learning to be together in a new way and to truly see each other.