Biography of Hamaya Hiroshi (1915-VVVV)

Japanese photographer, born in Tokyo on March 28, 1915.


The great Japanese poet Daigaku Horiguchi Hiroshi Hamaya defined as the "photographer of the sky" warning him that his photographic attitude should be refreshing, as the poet in the literature: should not take pictorial images but telling human life through photography. And that did, to become the great photographer that is, perfect discoverer of man through nature.

Hamaya, the third of five siblings, was born in Ueno, a popular district of Tokyo. His childhood was marked by the 1923 disaster: a great earthquake that struck the region of Kanto. That disaster helped accelerate the disappearance of democracy and produced a deep economic imbalance that favored the entry of the military into power. The family Hamaya, victim of changes, was forced to change his residence on several occasions prompting Hiroshi to prematurely abandon their studies. The fact coincided with the gift of a camera and, although photography was at that time a "hobby" expensive, his father did not hesitate to guess the passion showing his son by her, so it allowed him to devote himself to photography with just fifteen years. Thus, around 1930 made his first photographs: family, friends, neighbors... but also the rebuilding of neighborhoods damaged by the earthquake, the party of the reconstruction of the Ueno district, the children's parade...; It is impassioned both with its new way of looking at it repaired just in how events were developing but was through the viewfinder of his "Brony" which would then replace by a "Leica".

In principle your interest focused on the photography of people and their socio-economic environment, but at the end of their secondary studies in 1933, when he was 18 years old, came into the Department of photography of the laboratory of aviation, where he discovered new possibilities in the aerial photograph. However, due to the "avant-garde" of its work, the Department had to close three months later. It can not be that Hiroshi was an "avant-garde" in the sense of experimentation that they made the European Vanguards, but yes I felt deep admiration for the works of artists such as Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, or those of the new objectivity in German whose works came to Japan through magazines such as Photo Times.

It joined after the Photo East Industrial Co., in which learned all the secrets of photographic technique, which allowed him to complete his training. It was precisely, during the second half of the 30's when major events occur in the world of photography - the boom in magazines like Life and Look, the home of journalism graphic...-that will also affect Japan, country in which pictorial Graphic commissioned Hiroshi in 1939 a report about exercises winter of the mountain in the town of Takada bodies. From there begins a new stage in his career as a photographer, which dedicates itself to portray "the man through nature": customs, rituals, values, traditions, far from the world of the great capital neon, always taking into account the documentary function of photography to collect images of all human or educational value. This made him discover the very soul of photography and through it, the true essence of the man. Didn't make sense to him see nature as mere landscape but that tried to look at it from the point of view of science to find a form of scientific expression in photography. His photographs are full of magic, in their settings Queen quiet with lines that escape to infinity while the subjects are accommodated in an environment that belongs to them. Strength and tenderness are twin stunning shots where the trapped moment possess the beauty of the eternal.

He was 25 years old when he came first in contact with the most ancient traditions of small Japanese towns. The 42 he abandoned the countryside and was in Manchuria working with Tohosa, an editor who published the magazine for information about Japan to foreign countries, after which went on to devote himself fully to the journalism. It was a time of great changes, and after protest movements against the agreements of military cooperation with the United States, Japan lived an extraordinary economic development. The struggles were forgotten in the name of social prosperity. But traditions remain, and although the social structure is always processed will be the bright images of a photographer who gave his life to rescue from oblivion the popular tradition with willingness, sensitivity and passion for nature and people. That is his life, that of someone worthy of being called "photographer of the sky".