“To photograph a nude without desiring her is the ultimate in perversity.”
~ Larry Fink
Intimate Japan – Portraits of Yumiko

Doing Yumiko’s shoot was much more interesting for me … her look was very innocent and reserved, and just the layout and the way we setup the shoot worked great. I tried to keep an element of the Shogi board game in most of the photos. Not even sure why, but it worked out quite nicely.

Just to go on a bit of a tangent, for those who are not familiar with Shogi … It originate in China.  Records show that the first versions of Shogi (as well as ‘Go’) appeared in Japan from as early as the 7th Century.

Shogi has always been synonymous with the upper echelons of power in Japan, especially with members of the Government and the Emperor’s family always showing huge interest in the games. It remained largely exclusive to these groups until the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate at the end of the 19th Century. Skills and techniques were passed down through Japanese families with the games eventually gaining equal popularity with other traditions such as the tea ceremony.

Shogi is known for being a distant cousin of chess, and abroad is sometimes known as Japanese chess. There have been many variants over the centuries, with the main changes being made to the pieces, board and rules. The game is unique for its use of pentagonal pieces showing kanji characters. The kanji can be intimidating at first, but it is less of a challenge to learn the characters than it looks. Like chess, the objective is to protect your king until you have beaten your opponent.