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In my ongoing project, Winter Wonderland, I am exploring the idea of a wonderland in wintertime Japan. Despite our culture being increasingly westernized and Christmas becoming almost as an important of an event to celebrate as New Year’s, “Winter Wonderland”, a winter-time song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, is relatively unknown in Japan. This reminded me of the fact that we imported the word ‘wonderland’ and while a number of imported words and cultural elements such as ‘Christmas’ have been assimilated into Japanese culture, ‘wonderland’ is a word many Japanese people have heard of but many people have never wondered what it is. This in turn raised the question whether or not a wonderland can be discovered in Japan.
Through this sequence of imagery, I seek to convey that the idea of a winter wonderland, which was formed in the west, can also be applied to Japanese winter landscapes. Winter in some parts of Japan can be extremely harsh with heavy snowfall and fewer hours of sunlight than any other season but these images of landscapes show that becalmed beauty and wonder do exist in the moments of euphoric serenity the season also offers every now and then – that is where I believe Winter Wonderland resides.