Graphic Designer and Photographer Michiko Chiyoda is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the multimedia project ‘Oshichi’. To see Michiko’s body of work, click on any image.
‘Oshichi’ is a heroine/doll of ‘Yaoya Oshichi’, an old story which is based on the historical fact from the Edo period.
The 16-year-old girl met a man at a temple where she and her family took shelter as they lost their house in the fire. And she felt in love with him. After leaving the temple to live in the family’s new house, she missed him so much and started thinking it could be possible for her to see him again if another fire occurred. So she torched her house, hopefully to see him, but she was caught by a police after all. After she was executed by burning, her lover made a pilgrimage throughout the rest of his life.
While I was gazing at the doll, I started to feel deeply how she regretted about his later life. With thinking of Oshichi’s crazy love for him, an idea came up to my mind that I should follow his footprints. During the trip, I gave a prayer to him at shrines, temples and enshrined natural objects as he might have done so to Oshichi. I also felt her sorrow that rippled through me.
We often lose our precious things in every aspect of our lives. And we sometimes see someone who grieves for losing their precious things. No matter how we do so for what we lose, we can’t get our time back. Even if we hope to live forever, the last day of our lives will come one day for all of us.
There is no exception, and that fact never changes. We have to keep it in our mind and carry on living with the sorrow for death on our shoulders. The sorrow, on the other hand, is inseparably related to love for others. It has a certain power to empathize with people and we achieve a committed relationship with them. By sharing it with others, I think we can move out of our past and step forward to the future. Experiencing sadness makes us grow, and gives us great power to live.
While I was traveling, I felt everything was pure. They were all impressive and every moment I was deeply moved by the scenery. I felt the great nature surrounding us. Through my travel, I have realized we are all alive on the earth with the same fate. Like Oshichi, the last day will inevitably come but I feel the strong connection with this world. I want to value this bond and will keep on going day by day.
All images and text © Michiko Chiyoda
By Michiko Chiyoda
Michiko’s Previous Contributions To Edge Of Humanity Magazine