Emonogatari: This Is Our Story

This Is Our Story (detail), Shiho Kito

Emonogatari: This is Our Story

Emonogatari (‘picture stories’ in Japanese) is a collaborative visual art project with narratives rewritten from old photographs, letters and audio & video interviews related to WWII (1939-45). By exploring witnesses’ voices and their old family albums, each story was excavated through interviews with the aid of young collaborators, who ultimately had their age old family memories revived as their own stories, which became woven into a landscape becoming a newly revised visual history.

Photographs, old photographs, texts, letters, maps, audio & video interview
2014 onwards, India & Japan




Kisaku Onoda, my grand-uncle, went missing in action during his service for the Japanese Imperial Army. No one knew what had happened to him except for Takeshi, my grandfather who claimed to have seen Kisaku, his elder brother coming to see him to tell of his own death. This project evolved from this story which remained unexplored until my grandfather’s death at 89 in 2014.

This project was conceived in Japan and made in India during my whole-year fellowship from Agency of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan at National Institute of Design.



2014年より、文化庁新進芸術家海外研修制度研修員として、赴任先のインド西部グジャラート州インド国立デザイン大学へ赴任。フィールド調査と撮影のためにインド東北部ナガランド州コヒマへ、飛行機で3回乗り継いで片道24時間かかる出張を重ねる。「忘れられた戦争」といわれるナガランド州・マニプール州での日本軍による「インパール作戦」について、地元の人々から物語を採集し、またインパール作戦中に日本軍に帯同したインド国民軍 (INA) の指揮官スバース・チャンドラー・ボースについてのリサーチとフィールドワークのために、インド東部カルカッタ、東北部マニプール州インパールへも赴く。現地の写真家や郷土史家と交流を深め、第二次世界大戦インパールキャンペーン財団と共同でフィールド調査を行った。


I am much grateful to all the collaborators, contributors, coordinators, as well as following institutes and funds which supported the project: The Agency for Cultural Affairs, The Government of Japan, The Japan Foundation, Nomura Foundation, National Institute of Design India (NID), & 2nd World War Imphal Campaign Foundation.

The project has been executed in Japan & India, which consists of photographs, old photographs, texts, letters, maps, audio, video & self-published books.

If you would have a family story or old photographs which are related to the WWII to tell, please feel very free to add your story to this project. shiho[at]shihokito.com (Please replace [at] to @)
文化庁 | 国際交流基金 | 公益財団法人野村財団 | インド国立デザイン大学 (NID) | 第二次世界大戦インパールキャンペーン財団


戦争にまつわる家族の物語や古い写真をお持ちの方、ぜひ下記メールアドレスまでご連絡ください。shiho[at]shihokito.com ([at]を@に置き直してください)