Mariko Kuwahara: Stone Dealer

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The town of Onishi lies roughly 100 kilometres to the north-west of Tokyo, where legend has it that a troll who once lived on a nearby mountain threw a big stone down the mountain; people started to call the place where it landed “Onishi”. Mariko Kuwahara spent time there talking with local inhabitants and photographing the stones and rocky landscapes she found. The people who made the deepest impression on her were the men called ‘Ishiya-san’ (stone dealers). On its surface, this book is a document of her conversations with them, yet underneath it is a story of disappearing towns and villages in Japan, of dialects soon to be lost, and ways of life in danger of being forgotten.

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