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From Birth to Death to Dinner Table: Photographer Documents the Lives of Horses in Japan

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Tokyo-based photographer Hajime Kimura didn’t have an easy time finding a slaughterhouse that would allow him to photograph on the premises. With his project Tracks, Kimura’s aim was to show all aspects of the uses of horses in Japan. For this, he needed to photograph in a slaughterhouse because horse is eaten in Japan. It’s neither eaten often, nor is it a delicacy or controversial. Because horses cost far more than other animals to raise and maintain, it’s expensive. Kimura guesses that farmers consume it more than anyone else for the simple reason that they have access.

After being refused by all ten slaughterhouses that still deal with horse meat, Kimura was ultimately granted permission to take pictures at a private slaughterhouse in Hokkaido. Kimura’s photographs make up the story of the horse’s life cycle in Japan, from insemination to death.

Kimura’s work is on view at Arte Laguna Prize exhibition through April 6, 2014 in Venice, Italy.

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura

Hajime Kimura