Japan's Must-Read Magazine

The Best Of The Gaijin Eye

A View of Japan From The Foreigner’s Perspective…

Our Annual Gaijin Eye feature has been running since 2004 and is one of our most highly anticipated features. Here is the intro from our first edition:

The saying goes that “The camera doesn’t lie…” Be that as it may, the truth it tells is often more about the person behind the lens than the subject in front of it. In fact, that is what inspired us to call on foreign photographers to submit their work for this printed exhibition. We were not looking for them to show us the picture-perfect, cropped Japan that we see in guidebooks or travel brochures, but rather the Japan that those who live and work in their adopted country see in the course of their life here. In doing so, we sought to put a mirror up to our own perspective for others to contemplate and discuss.

The images that follow were selected from literally hundreds of submissions that were gathered over a 6-month period. The selection, like the photographs themselves, is subjective. Yet they tell us what fascinates and irritates, amazes and angers those who have to piece together an understanding of Japan in situations that repeat themselves over and over, day after day. At first these images intrigue us. Then they frustrate us. Eventually, we end up accepting and reconciling with them as they seep into our understanding – however flawed it may be – of the place in which we live and the people that inhabit it. (Japanzine June 2004)

To view the all of the photos in PDF format, click here