Japan’s First Female Photojournalist is Still Taking Pictures at 101 Years Old

At 101 years old, renowned Japanese photographer Tsuneko Sasamoto continues to express her artistic voice and capture stunning images. Considered to be her country's first photojournalist at the age of 25, Sasamoto has been documenting history for over 70 years, including pre- and post-war Japan. Her photographs highlighted the country's dramatic shift from a totalitarian regime to an economic superpower, and the social implications that arose from it.

Sasamoto remains enthusiastic about her profession, continuing to impact her chosen field. In 2011, at the age of 97, she published a photo book called Hyakusai no Finder, or Centenarian's Finder. When she turned 100, she opened an exhibition of selected images. Now, Sasamoto is currently working on a project called Hana Akari, or Flower Glow, an homage to her friends who have passed away. She is completing this series despite breaking her left hand and both legs last year. Determined to not let it get the best of her, she has attended physical rehabilitation three times a week to get better.

When speaking to NHK World shortly before her 100th birthday, Sasamoto offered sage advice. “You should never become lazy. It's essential to remain positive about your life and never give up,” Sasamoto told NHK. “You need to push yourself and stay aware, so you can move forward. That's what I want people to know.”

Tsuneko Sasamoto on the cover of her book, Hyakusai no Finder.

Photo credit: Satoko Kawasaki

tsunekosasamoto6Photo credit: Satoko Kawasaki

Photo credit: Satoko Kawasaki

via [PetaPixel, The Japan TimesZaikei News]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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