Our series of interviews with KJ’s super volunteers continues. This time Lisa Nilsson speaks to Kobe-based Minechika Endo. KJ has been sending Minechika on photographic assignments around Kyoto for new issue releases, to the neighbouring prefecture of Shiga, and up to Toyama City.
Tell us about yourself, Minechika.
I am a designer and an aspiring photographer.
Why Japan? How did you end up here in Japan?
I was born and raised in the Philippines with a Filipino mother and a Japanese father. After graduating from college in Manila I decided to challenge myself and move to Japan, learn the language and pursue further studies in Design.
How/why did you get involved with KJ?
I was following KJ for a while on social media and was lucky to find a post they had about the team looking for a volunteer who could take photos for them. This was when I was doing my graduate studies at Kyoto Institute of Technology. KJ had articles which were relevant to my studies, so I didn’t hesitate to send my portfolio. The team welcomed me just after a few weeks and still can’t believe that was already a year ago.
What inspires you in life?
People who goes out of their comfort zones and just do things with responsibility. It could be an artisan, a backpacker or even the carpenter who built your house.
How would you describe your creative work at KJ?
Every work has been a learning process. I always have to be flexible in shooting different subjects whether it be landscape or portrait. Also while shooting, I have to keep in mind the output of the photo. As much as possible I want it to fit the layout and theme for the issue.
What work tasks or moments do you enjoy the most at KJ?
Moments when I get the chance to interact and hear stories from amazing and interesting people of different disciplines in life.
Which piece of work for KJ is the most memorable/are you most proud of? Why?
I would say my first work with Kyoto Journal would be the most memorable one. I was asked to take a portrait of Emily Reynolds for print issue KJ89, a traditional clay plaster artisan based in Kyoto. Even though it was my first job for Kyoto Journal I didn’t feel intimidated. Emily was so kind in showing me around Shimogamo Shrine while we were doing the shoot. Her story is truly inspiring.
Follow Minechika on Instagram @minechikaendo