I took the photographs in this book Fujisaki during the period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, when I had not yet become a professional photographer. This was practically my first work
I was a student of Kanagawa Technical Senior High School in Yokohama when I met Masaki Fujisaki, the subject captured in these photographs, for the first time. He was 15 years old and I was 16 years old then. Although it was 57 years ago, I can still recall the moment quite vividly. He showed up long-haired, wearing black leather pants and boots and smelling like hair liquid. He was also wearing a button-down shirt, which was not so common in those days.
As we became close, we found there was chemistry between us, and we would hang out together almost every day. We frequented Chigusa, a Jazz cafe in Noge, Yokohama, to listen to modern jazz that was fashionable then, requesting records by musicians such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy and so on. Excited by Scorpio Rising, the movie by Kenneth Anger, we tried to follow the way of life of Beatniks, such as William Burrows, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. And we often drank whiskey together. It was also he who introduced me to Kazuo Ohno, one of the pioneer butoh dancers. This was at a time before rock 'n' roll and punk were widely accepted.
Back then, I had no idea which direction to head for the future. Nevertheless, I was somewhat big-headed and full of baseless confidence. I did not know where my self-confidence came from but, honestly, I just wanted to do something different from what others did and otherwise I would not care; that was all.
When I began to pursue a path as a photographer at the age of 20 by chance, I decided to take photographs of Fujisaki to keep a record. I went to Yumenoshima, a reclaimed island on the Tokyo Bay coast, riding on my 'chopped' motorbike, a Tohatsu Runpet. We frantically ran around along the long straight road and eventually destroyed my bike and set fire to its gas tank.
Fujisaki's wildly laughing face seemed to be proof of my excitement.
His voice heard through my viewfinder was my own shouting, and my act of photographing him felt like I was observing myself back then.