Japan and the family

Anton Kusters is a Belgium photographer who spent two years photographing on of Tokyo’s Yakuza crime families. This project took him years of careful negotiations to allow the access necessary to produce this project. Now available as a book the photographs of this project and the accompanying text describing his experiences are fascinating and intoxicating. An exherp from his site reads:
“In the hotel bar in Niigata, I’m only slowly starting to understand the extremely subtle social interaction that is continuously happening, the micro-expressions on the faces, the gestures, the voices and intonations, the body language.

As the bar is evacuated to make room for the godfather having a coffee, everything seems to be strictly organized but at the same time seems to come naturally: strangely, I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do, where to sit, when to talk or when to shut up.

It’s like I literally feel the boundaries, the implicit expectations, and I am slowly learning when I can move forward, and when to best hold back. Sitting at the table with a bodyguard looking straight through me, I drink from my iced coffee. I’m feeling the acute sensation of walking on eggshells…”

This work has been featured in a large number of publications and while I am a little late to the party I really liked the tension captured in his photographs. It is always gratifying to see such excellent documentary work being produced.

Anton Kusters website can be found at the following address: