It’s not every day you get to spend a wonderful afternoon with Hideaki Hamada and his family in Expo Park in Osaka.
When we reached out to photographer Hideaki Hamada about meeting up in Osaka, we were delighted—and a bit star-struck—when he proposed having a meal together at the delicious and beautiful Bird. As we were early for our reservation, we walked across the lane to browse TRUCK Furniture and exchange smiles with Tokuhiko Kise, the proprietor of both TRUCK and Bird. What came afterwards was one of the most memorable parts of our travels throughout Japan: moments after being seated at Bird, we were greeted by Hideaki and his wife, Chizuru, as well as their children Haru and Mina. Within five minutes of meeting, Mina asks his father for permission to touch Tomasz’s beard, setting the tone for the evening and sparking a friendship between the children and Uncle “Beard” Tomasz.
As we neared what we thought would be the end of our evening together we saw Tok again, warmly greeting Hideaki and then proceeding to ask us about our travels. And then we were shown: an after hours TRUCK Furniture, its wood shop, and its rooftop staff lounge area; Hiromi’s (Tok’s wife) stunning leather goods workshop; and their incredible home.
It was all a bit unreal to be allowed these opportunities, to have spent an evening with the lovely Hamada family and to chat with them and Tok about their lives, as our time together neared midnight. It’s in these moments that we’re reminded of the significance of shared and lived experience and the connection we aim for in our creative works (whether in photography, writing, or otherwise).
The next day, we were invited to explore Expo Park and photograph Hideaki and his family. Despite the hundreds, perhaps thousands of images he has created of his wife and children, no one has actually photographed him alongside them during a session. Hideaki Hamada implements his vision with great kindness and this shows in the playful and honest quality of his work; we hoped to channel a bit of this here. Needless to say, it was quite the honour to photograph our talented friend and his wonderful family.
Written by Amy & Tomasz
All photographs by Tomasz Wagner on a Contax G2 using the 21mm f2.8, 45mm f2, and 90mm f2.8
Developed by ABC Photo and self-scanned with the Pakon F135