During the Troubles, the struggle for independence that lasted from 1969 to 1998, Northern Ireland attracted a large number of foreign photojournalists who came to document the events. Some of them found a subject that touched them personally, pushing them to go beyond the codes of photojournalism. Such was the case, for example, of Japanese photographer Akihiko Okamura (1929-1985), who from 1969 until his death in 1985, produced a singular body of work in colour, favoring soft, luminous tones that contrasted with the reportage of the time. At times, his images even seem to detach themselves from reality. Through the simplicity of his framing and the strength of his composition, Okamura bears witness to the permanence of war in the instability of everyday life. Surprisingly, his work in Ireland has remained virtually unknown until now.

This publication, edited by Pauline Vermare, photography historian and specialist in the visual representation of the Northern Irish conflict, in collaboration with the Akihiko Okamura Archive and Photo Museum Ireland, brings together for the first time the images taken by the Japanese photographer in Ireland, on the occasion of the rediscovery of this corpus. It accompanies the eponymous exhibition on view at Dublin's Photo Museum Ireland (April-June 2024).

Several texts accompany this visual corpus, contextualizing it within the history of the period and of the photographic medium. These texts, combining different points of view (historical, Japanese, Irish), will provide the reading keys to discover this work, unravel some of its mysteries, and create a genuine reference book for this first monograph outside his native country.