Inspirant Photographer

Hida Folk Village, Gifu Prefecture, Japan


In the earliest days of the 14th century, a fairy tale village was built. The farmers planted cherry trees and harvested the other trees for lumber. Some of the cherry trees are still alive today, despite the fact that they are over 300 years old. This prefecture was located between the Sea of Japan and Kyoto, which was the cultural center of Japan. Samurais, farmers and artisans once thrived in this teaming village that was hidden from the world.

The emperor was so paranoid about his hermit kingdom that he forbade any large ships from leaving his country in 1633.  By the 17th century, Portuguese Black ships sailed into this region and eventually stirred the curiosity of the villagers forever.  By the 1950’s, three miracle appliances rocked their world. Television, radio and the washing machine were invented. Everyone suddenly realized that they aspired to join the mainstream of the modern world and they deserted their beloved village. Today, only 30 thatched roof farm houses remain intact in this living historical site.

  ~ Hal Kataoka