The camera that I used for shooting my first ever photograph was a Bakelite toy camera called “Start.” The guy at the model toy shop in he shopping street near Okamachi station (in Toyonaka) had talked me into buying it, and I had in fact vaguely sensed some kind of mystery in that little black box, so without any particular interest in photographing, I was just taken by the charm of that thing. It was a camera though, so I took it home with me just in case, and with no particular ideas in mind I began to shoot the flowers in our garden, our dog, the big, shiny silver water tanks in the fields next to our house, the white paths on the ground along those tanks, and my siblings sitting on the veranda, after which my interest in taking pictures vaporized, and that was about it. I was a 6th-grader in elementary school at the time.
Anyway, all the various photographs I’ve talked about above, they are all gone, vanished altogether, disappeared to who knows where. There are neither negatives nor prints left of them, so it’s all only in my memory. I have no words to express what a useless guy I am. However, when I think about it this way, it appears to me that most of the images that I have captured in the countless photographs I’ve shot up to this day may in fact be objects of reminiscence and obituary about vanished sights and sceneries. In other words, my basic inclination, the essence of my work – these things haven’t changed a bit!
– Afterword (Excerpt) by Daido Moriyama