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Reina Kanamori Photo Exhibition Hare to Ke

Hare and Ke: Japan’s Traditional Take on Life

Since long ago, the Japanese people have called days where they go about routine activities Ke (literally meaning “mundane” or “ordinary”) and days on which ceremonies and festivals are held hare (literally meaning “formal” or “ceremonial”). This mindset for differentiating between what is routine and what is non-routine extends also to foods, clothing and other cultural accoutrements. However, living in today’s world where the ceremonial distinction between hare and Ke has become less and less pronounced with every new generation, I find that what is routine and what is non-routine have become one -- like times that seemed as if they would go on forever and that inevitable moment of looking at someone before parting ways.

The fear of losing something - like when the laissez-faire you’d grown accustomed to or a relationship you never doubted abruptly changes - has etched in me the truism that what we take for granted and the unexpected go hand in hand.

Without warning, something completely unsuspected can pop up amidst the daily ritual or an out-of-the-blue happening unknowingly morph back into the everyday beat.

When I discovered a hare moment amidst the Ke routine and realized that those special events were just a part of my unbroken continuing routine, everything around me seemed connected. I felt showered in love.

Everything you see and do is both part of a typical daily routine and a special moment that will never come again.

I spend a little time every day gathering bits and pieces of hare and Ke.

Reina Kanamori Profile

Born in Tokyo in 1979.

Graduated in photography from the Faculty of Art at Tokyo Polytechnic University in 2003.

Began freelancing in 2011 after jobs at the Tokyo University of the Arts Photography Center and Historiographical Institute, The University of Tokyo.

Photographed outdoor cats during her student days, but has in recent years been focusing on typical moments in everyday life and her two pet cats that she rescued because of injury and disability.

Opened Maison PHOTOGRAPHICA as an office/studio on 06/01/2018 (Photography Day).

Supervises “Team Trunk”, a collaborative effort by three woman photographers, herself included, and four camera goods designers to sell handcrafted items made with photographs and host photography workshops, and “Analog Factory”, a project aimed at preserving photographic prints in this day and age of digital photography, which she started following her experience cleaning photo albums as a volunteer in the areas stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake.


“Tiny Treasures”, Days Photo Gallery
“Stray Cats: A Corner of Wonderful World”,
Mikimoto Hall (Ginza Mikimoto Main Store), Mikimoto Nagoya
“Tiny Treasures”, Up Field Gallery
“Portraits of Stray Cats”, Canon Gallery Ginza, Canon Gallery Fukuoka
“KI-SE-KI”, Shinjuku Ophthalmologist Gallery
“Spinning the Days into …”, Olympus Gallery Tokyo, Olympus Gallery Osaka
“Sakura: Tiny Treasures Encountered at Tokyo Station”, Roonee 247 Fine Arts
“Portraits of Stray Cats”, Shashin Kosha Gallery, Jam Photo Gallery

Other solo and planned exhibitions

【Works included in the collections of】

  • Tokyo Polytechnic University
  • Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Art