If someone was to tell you that age is no bar when it comes to technology, you’d probably laugh. But, proving that it’s never too late to learn something technical is Kimiko Nishimoto, an 89-year-old Japanese Grandma. She took up photography in right earnest at the age of 72 and is going strong since then!
Since the very beginning, Nishimoto was the outgoing type. At 20, she took up competitive cycling, as she was bored of working in a salon that her father had opened for her. Nishimoto would have continued with competitive cycling, had she not met her future husband, Hitoshi, who was a tax official and had come to her father’s house to assess the family’s tax payments. She married him at 20 and had three children, with Kazutami being the eldest.
How she discovered her passion for photography is an interesting story. When she was 72, one of Nishimoto’s friends made her join an amateur class in a photography school, called Yubijuku. Surprisingly, this school was being run by her son Kazutami.
Although Nishimoto had never touched a camera before, she found the world of photography gripping and fascinating. Soon, she was having fun with the cameras. Says she, “Cameras have opened a window to another world for me. It’d be boring just sitting around the house all day. I love the sound of a shutter clicking.”
One of the first things Nishimoto did with the camera was to snap hilarious self-portraits, as part of her homework assignment. Such was her creative output that it instantly caught both domestic and international attention. In no time, her fame as a creative photographer spread.
A decade after Nishimoto mastered the art of photography, she held her first solo exhibition at a local museum at Kumamoto, her hometown. She was also invited to exhibit her works at Tokyo’s Epson despite imaging gallery that was held between December 15, 2017, and January 18, 2018. The exhibition, named ‘Asobokane’ meaning ‘let’s play’, provided Nishimoto with an opportunity to showcase her previously unseen works.
Nishimoto draws inspiration from whatever she observes. She explains, “I just say what’s on my mind when I look at an object. Even if two people are looking at the same object, each individual’s emotional reaction is completely different. To me, photography is all about capturing an object at that moment.”
At the ripe old age of 89, Nishimoto is still going strong and with the good wishes of her adoring fans, she’ll continue doing so in the years ahead.