On the Road Again

On the Road Again Archives :: Images ©2001 Karin Muller

eginning in 1600, Japan lived in near-total isolation for 250 years. Oceangoing vessels were forbidden by imperial decree, and anyone foolish enough to venture forth from the Islands was beheaded upon his return. Japan lived under the warrior code, and the samurai reigned supreme.

Then, in 1853 American ships arrived. Japan recreated itself as a modern country, destroyed itself in a war, and then again rebuilt. Japan today is a land of super-speed trains and cell phones, and yet, beneath its neon exterior still beats a samurai heart. The Warrior Code exists, not only in the traditions of sumo, the geisha, and mountain ascetic cults, but also in the everyday life of the Tokyo salaryman.

Equipped with my Nikon F100 and a few choice lenses, I journeyed to Japan for a year to explore both the ancient cultures and the modern landscape. I had studied judo for ten years and spent six months training under a Japanese judo master. Continued