Misao, the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat Goodbye Hello.
Photographs by Miyoko Ihara.
86 pp., color and black & white illustrations, 8½x5½".
Miyoko Ihara graduated from the Nippon Photography Institute in 2002. Around that time, she began photographing her grandmother, Misao, in order to document her life together with her stalwart companion, an odd-eyed white cat named Fukumaru. This touching and beautiful photo book captures the everyday life of elderly Misao and her steadfast feline friend following the passing of her husband one summer. The black-and-white images reflect both the grief of loss but also the hope offered by new life, in the form of a litter of small white kittens. It is a touching portrayal of an elderly woman living a quiet and solitary life of work and enjoyment of nature, though always with her cats.