Naito Masatoshi

b. 1938. Lives and works in Tokyo.Majored in applied chemistry at Waseda University, Naito Masatoshi first experimented with photographs on the forms created by chemical reactions and turned them into documentaries in the late 1960s, such as Ba Ba Bakuhatsu (Grandma Explosion) and started to shoot the series Tono Story and Tokyo, which were shown publicly in the 1980s. He received a newcomer’s prize from the Japanese Photo critic society and the Ken Domon Prize.

From the series Ba Ba Bakuhatsu (Grandma Explosion). Osorezan, Aomori, 1968
Silver gelatin print, printed in 1988, 41×51 cm
나이토 마사토시
Courtesy the artist
Ba Ba Bakuhatsu (Grandma Explosion)
A blind medium called “Itako” invites the spirits of the dead and tell the words to the clients of aged women gathered in a hallowed area.
This series was shot from 1968 to 1970. The aged women listen to the words of the dead, their fathers and husbands who died in the war or their sons who were fishermen shipwrecked due to a sudden change of the weather, and the children or grandchildren who died from disease. The aged women cry recollecting their relatives’ memories in the day time and drink and dance cheerfully at night. The thought that the dead re-radiate the brightness of life to the existing women is quite impressive. The vitality of women comes from the earth. They embrace everything like goddesses and the title “Ba Ba Bakuhatsu (Grandma Explosion)” came to my mind naturally.