A photobook which captures the various faces and individuals within a community, Tsutomu Yamagata’s Thirteen Orphans brings together a series of portraits of individuals whom he met around a lily pond known as Shinobazu-no-ike located in Tokyo’s Ueno district. Here, much like the title which serves as a reference to a hand played in mahjong, the individuals photographed serve as a document of the very ties of which binds us as human.

Artist Profile


Born in Tokyo in 1966. Graduated from Department of Law, Keio University. He is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society and the Photographic Society of Japan. His major solo exhibitions so far include “Ten Disciples” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2016 and gallery 176, 2017, as well as “Thirteen Orphans” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2012 and Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 2013. His main publications include Thirteen Orphans (New Edition by Case Publishing & Zen Foto Gallery, 2017), Ten Disciples (Zen Foto Gallery, 2016), Thirteen Orphans (Zen Foto Gallery, 2012), and Bulgarian Rose (Private edition, 2011). Yamagata participated in the group exhibition “Pale Red Dot” at Athens Photo Festival in 2018. His works are included in the collections of University of New Mexico Art Museum, USA and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai.