PILGRIMAGE Looking back, the pilgrimage I took to study Western culture in 1973 was motivated by my lack of cultural identity. I traveled throughout Europe—Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and France—exploring what I’d gleaned from the French nuns who raised me in my native Japan. Once there, however, I was surprised to discover that I was more attracted to ordinary street scenes, people, and objects than the grand architectural monuments and art that paid formal homage to Western culture and history. I photographed them every day. Because, to me, these quotidian subjects seemed in danger of being devoured by the unshakable and looming cultural context and history of the place. So, I chose to shoot them in harsh natural light, with encroaching, threatening shadows. While the effect is often mysterious and complex, the images themselves are composed simply.