Japanese photographer and writer Sachiko Shibusawa calls Türkiye her "second home" since 1981.
Inspired by renowned Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, Shibusawa last week opened a photography exhibition called "Human Landscapes from Istanbul" at Yunus Emre Institute's (YEE) Tokyo Turkish Cultural Center.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Shibusawa said that she first became acquainted with Türkiye, her “second home,” while her family was settled in Greece's Thessaloniki.
She had the opportunity to come to Istanbul by train from Thessaloniki in 1981, and she fell in love with the city.
The Japanese artist took many photos capturing daily life in Türkiye such as the circumcision ceremony of a child, a Turkish soldier in camouflage, a prayer beads seller, and backgammon players. Shibusawa also penned books on Istanbul and Türkiye.
She captured the images in an era when positive-negative photography transformed into digital.
Türkiye’s tolerance for migrants from the former Soviet Union was admirable, she said.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was an influx of people to Türkiye and Russians were on the streets doing the "suitcase trade.”
“They were not professional sellers. Russian citizens trying to earn their bread and make a living.”
After the Marmara earthquake in 1999, Shibusawa collected money with her friends and distributed aid for the earthquake victims.
With 40 years of travel experience, Shibusawa described Turkish people as "living life with pleasure, cheerful, hospitable."
“Three uncles who sit on the side of the road and eat watermelon, immediately invite you to sit down with them and say ‘enjoy your meal’. This happens every day,” Shibusawa said.
She also traveled to the Turkish Republic of Cyprus where she had the opportunity to better understand the political situation on the island.
She also visited Southern Cyprus.