The Photography of Shin Noguchi

February 14, 2023 2023年2月14日

When first looking at Shin Noguchi’s photographs, one is almost immediately drawn to the humor and vitality that is present in the images.

初めてShin Noguchiの写真を見る者は、画像に息づくそのユーモアと生命力にたちまち惹きつけられる。

Based in Tokyo and Kamakura, Noguchi has won a number of major photography awards for his perceptive and detailed photographs.


In his words, he tries to “capture moments of excitement, beauty and humanism in the midst of everyday life”. His poetic and mysterious style of street photography is capable of showing us the intricacies and complexities of Japanese culture.


At the beginning of his career, Shin fell in love with the classic, black-and-white realism of Magnum Photos, as well as some color street photography from the 70’s and 80’s. Later on, he started to find and develop his own personal style of photography, focusing primarily on color photography.


Street photography often depicts reality and realism, but the reality that Noguchi typically explores is not the kind that can be easily detected. There is a subtext to the moments that he captures. These moments exist in society, on the street, and in the lives of everyday people. As he observes and captures these moments, he tries to stay objective and as free from his own bias as possible.


When asked about his photography career and whether there have been any memorable experiences, Shin says that every moment has been memorable and special. There was one moment in particular when he saw and photographed a mother walking on the sidewalk in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 2014. She was carrying her children in her arms in an unusual way, which strongly contrasted with her surroundings. Seeing this moment on the street greatly inspired him.


Shin Noguchi often works in between Tokyo and Kamakura, two cities which are polar opposites in many ways. Tokyo is a busy and fast-paced metropolis, while Kamakura is a much more laid-back city with a rich history. Shin’s photography often reflects the differences in how he feels about these two cities.

Shin Noguchiはもっぱら、東京と鎌倉といういろいろな意味で両極端な2つの都市間で活動している。東京が慌ただしく目まぐるしく移り変わる大都市である一方、鎌倉は豊かな歴史を持つ穏やかな街である。Noguchiの写真は、この2つの都市に彼が感じる違いを反映したものが多い。

While Shin will often spend between six to nine hours on the street each day, he may only take one or two shots. Still, he rarely feels bored or gets tired of his work. For him, being able to observe the lives of other people is a wondrous and beautiful thing.