ENA is a series photographed by Yoshiki Hase with a large-format 4x5 film camera, in the town of Ena, located in the southern part of Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Purely following his own instinct, Hase photographed the residents of Ena within its natural landscape. Hase’s impression towards Ena was a “typical countryside in the mountains of Japan,” but it was also true that he found himself fascinated by the picturesque beauty in its daily life, and decided to return with his large format camera to shoot his own artwork. Mountains, lakes, rice fields, old houses, and factories - Hase brought his large-format camera to various places and asked locals to model in the photos, capturing them with minimum posing direction.
“It was the first time I was in Ena, and the first time I experienced life in Japan’s rural areas. I was struck by the colors of the nature and the landscapes around the place right from the beginning of my stay. Meeting and spending time with the locals, some of whom have been in Ena for their entire lives, was also a very spectacular experience for me. I was born and raised in Tokyo’s outskirts, perhaps that’s why I was so fascinated. I soon got the idea of photographing my new acquaintances in those rich landscapes. So, once the production of the film I was working for wrapped up, I decided to go back and start my own project. I guess another reason why I wanted to create the project is that my father was born in Ena.”