Daido Moriyama: Colors


Some time ago I wrote an article about Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama. All photos in the article were black and white. Today’s post is about Moriyama’s color photos.


“When I look at Shinjuku, I see a stadium of human desires.”


“Making a definitive declaration of intent or meaning kills the photograph.”


“Photography never reaches a state of completion. That is what makes it interesting—amazing..”


“… to shoot images is to receive shocks from the outside world.”


“…looking at images leads to the discovery of a new language. That is what I am about.”


“When I take snapshots, I am always guided by feeling, so even in that moment when I’m taking a photograph it is impossible to explain the reason for the exposure.”


“I’ve never been attracted to places that are very hygienic, I like a touch of squalor.”


“There is something very vernacular, something I can feel and smell as Japanese in what I do. So if at first glance the pictures might look quite American, there’s a belief in Japanese tradition that comes out in them even if I’m not always conscious of it.”


“The surprising quality of photography is it unites the déjà vu with the jamais vuand then the feeling of the photographer with the feeling of the spectator in a continual layering of emotions.”


“Travel has never been a destination but rather a constant state of mind.”


“There is no moment equal to another even if you repeat the same gesture.”


“Even though I go to Buenos Aires, San Paolo, Hawaii, New York, I will shoot with my five senses, so it’s the same.”


“All the photographers, and all the people that are active in making something, all the artists, they have a very strong desire, a passion. It’s like being at the core of desire.”


“As long as my legs, my back and my stomach are well, I will take photographs in the street forever. I do not have the intention to leave the camera.”

All quotes are Daido Moriyama’s.


  1. Daido Moriyama: The Shock From Outside. Interview with Ivan Vartanian
  2. Daido Moriyama: Low life in Tokyo. Mark Hudson, The Telegraph, 18 October 2012.
  3. Daido Moriyama in Color. Domus