【Column】Like Fishing / Robert Adachi

2022.04.28

I was in elementary school when people around me expected nothing from me and I expected nothing from myself.

I loved fishing. I was so enthusiastic about it that I even entered a tournament at one point.

The owner of a nearby laundry shop was a fishing expert, and he taught me many things. When I graduated from elementary school, he gave me a "Herauki float” that he had made himself as a gift.

The Herauki float is a float specialized for a type of crucian carp called Herabuna, which have a more “elegant” way of eating than other fish, and the float has been particularly developed to visualize their delicate movements.

One of the fascinations of fishing is imagination.

A fisherman imagines “the emotions and actions” of fish: in what season, at what time of day, in what area, at what depth, what kind of food they want, and how they eat. He imagines, prepares, and waits. In the case of Herabuna, he imagines from the subtle movement of the float whether it is just holding the bait in its mouths or whether it is really trying to eat. I learned that from the teacher in my neighborhood.

And when the fisherman's imagination and the fish's behavior match, he has a bite. The weight of the fish, which is felt through the rod with his whole body as it tries to escape with all its might, is equivalent to the weight of the imagination that the fisherman has built up. The heavier the weight, the more excited and fulfilled he feels.

Another fascination is its meditative time.

You keep looking at the float, listening to the sound of water, wind, and birds, smelling flowers, grass, and water, feeling the humid air and sunlight. Basically, you are absentminded, but loosely focused on one point: the float. The simplicity and richness of it.

The act of taking photographs is referred to as “shooting”, but to me, having experienced the above, it is more like “fishing”. Instead of actively going out to hunt and shoot the target, you imagine the ideal scene, prepare for it, and passively wait for a bite. It doesn't matter if you catch a fish or not, because the act itself is both a process and a purpose.

When I went to junior high school, I became too busy with school and stopped going fishing at all. And as I grew older, other people and I myself started expecting a certain kind of productivity from me, and I gradually avoided something as “unproductive” as fishing. I never had a chance to use that float after all.

However, I have come to realize in recent years that what I experienced through fishing in my childhood had a profound effect on my psychological development. I don't remember where the float went, but as I write this, I’m discovering that it has always remained in the deepest place of my heart as a symbol of something spiritually important.

Instead of a rod, I carry a camera, instead of the river, I go out on the street, and I fish quietly. Those are the unproductive moments that I appreciate now.

(Taken with GR III Street Edition)


Robert Adachi
Having always been interested in how we connect and create, Adachi studied foreign languages, programming languages and art as a teenager, studied international law and global issues at the university, began composing music at the age of 22, and self-taught photography at 32. He was in charge of the brochure/official sample photos of the GR DIGITAL III, GXR, and GR. Composed the original music for “GR Concept Movie.” Received many awards worldwide in fine art. His publications include photobook “Clarity and Precipitation” (arD).
www.robertadachi.com

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