In March 2016, the Japanese Academy of Pediatrics announced that they estimated 350 children across the country died due to abuse. According to the Ministry of Health, Education, and Welfare’s tally, roughly 90 children per year die due to abuse, including forced double suicide. So 260 children’s deaths are being overlooked.
Upon discovering this anomaly, Japanese photographer Miki Hasegawa started her own research on child abuse cases. Hasegawa interviewed the child abuse victims, photographed their portraits, and collected and edited materials that summon up their childhood memories such as their diaries, notebooks and photos. This project “Internal Notebook” is her attempt at visualizing the invisible sufferings and traumas of the abused children from her own perspective as a mother and a possible child abuser. Dealing with the social issues facing Japanese woman and children, Hasegawa tries to visualize what exactly maternal love is in such a traditional country. “It seemed to me that their parents were no different from the rest of us in thinking that we were normal parents,” she states. “We can see that the ones who tormented were not just parents but other adults in society as well.” The wide variety in perspectives mark her work and gives an interesting insight into this well-hidden shame of society.