Mr. Takeshi Maeda is another pilot that bombed Pearl Harbor. During a seminar in Honolulu this past week, Mr. Maeda came across Mr. John Rauschkolb who served on the USS West Virginia. Mr. Maeda bombed the West Virginia. When the met, John stated, “you probably shot at me.” All Mr. Maeda could do was utter “I’m sorry…”
techie stuff…Mamiya RZ, 140mm. Profoto 7B, white umbrella. Tri-X. Yes, I shot film. Scanned on a Nikon 8000.
This is 90 year old Zenji Abe. Mr. Abe was a dive bomber pilot from the aircraft carrier Akagi. He was part of the second wave of Japanese planes that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He is one of the few pilots from Japan to survive the war and to still be alive.
Mr. Abe, like those of his generation, participated in a great war. A war that still permiates our current condition. How oftend did we relate the 9-11 attack to Pearl Harbor?
Mr. Abe still has that look…those eyes of something he saw so long ago…although clouded by age…but that look of someone who still dreams of the sounds of the engines. The runway, the Imperial flag. Of white clouds, blue water, green mountains. Battleship row. Arizona, Utah, West Virginia. Of billowing smoke and fire. Of sinking ships…of a war that just begun.
Photographing him, along with another Japanese pilot and Pearl Harbor survivors game me the feeling that I was recording history. A history that may well be forgotten by today’s generation but surely not forgotten in the eyes of Mr. Abe or those who participated.
techincal…Canon 1D MII, 85mm 1.8, natural light. F 2.0.