Tokyo in 101 faces: Photographer charts Japanese life from cradle to grave



Some are old enough to remember the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, while others are old enough to hold memories of bombing raids destroying much of the same city in 1945.

Others are of an age to remember the catastrophic Kanto earthquake and tsunami in 1923 which wiped out up to 135,000 Tokyo residents.

There are even some that were born before the city's main railway station opened. But some are not old enough to have explored Tokyo's vast urban sprawl at all yet.

A fascinating new collection of pictures from a Finnish photographer features Tokyo residents from the cradle (almost) to the grave featuring 101 photos of different people of every age from newborn babies to 100 year olds.






Toddlers: These two pictures featured in 100 Years in Tokyo show two of the city's youngest residents - they are both aged two







Teenagers: This pair are both aged 16. The are among 2,500 strangers approached to have their picture taken by Petri Artturi Asikainen








Growing up: This pair, pictured in Tokyo city's bustling urban sprawl, are both aged 27


Petri Artturi Asikainen, armed with his camera, spent three years approaching complete strangers in the Japanese capital city and asking if he could take their photo to complete his 100 Years in Tokyo project.


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When a resident wasn't too shy to say no to Petri - many refused - he would ask them their age and collected a photo of a male and a female Tokyoite for each year up to his oldest subjects, a pair of centenarians.

Petri estimates that he approached around 2,500 people and amassed a collection of 500 pictures during his time on the project.






Life begins at 40: These two are about to enter their fifth decade - they are both aged 39









Not shy: Of the 2,500 approached by Petri, just 500 people agreed to have their picture taken for the book, including these two aged 48









Good eye for an age: Petri says that when he became adept at guessing people's ages despite Japanese people looking younger than their years. He guessed that these two were both aged 60


But he admitted that when he set out on his mission to collect such a vast range of ages, he wasn't sure if it'd be possible.

A freelance photographer, working mainly for magazines and businesses, 100 Years in Tokyo is Petri's first personal project.

His collection manages not only to capture the entire spectrum of Tokyoites in terms of age, the images he shot depict the city's diversity, not only in terms of location - he took pictures all other Tokyo - but of the different types of people who live there.

The images feature people from all manor of backgrounds, from students to labourers and one shot even features a homeless man.







Diverse: His pictures don't only capture a spectrum of ages - these two are both 74 - they also capture the city's diversity









All ages: The group of pictures features all manor of subjects, from babies to labourers to people in residential care. These two were 94 when the shots were taken









Centenarians: This man and woman were among the oldest people photographed by Petri - they were both aged 100


Petri told the Japan Times that he became an expert at guessing people's ages while collecting the pictures.

He said: 'The funny thing is, for western people it's difficult to tell some people's ages here because Japanese people look much younger than they are.

'But when I was doing it, I got very good at it.

'When I needed, say, someone aged 56, I very seldomly missed by more than two years.'

> A flip-through video of the book can be viewed at pa.artturi.com/books. For more information, contact books@artturi.com.