Drunkard's Heaven: Photos by Kenji Kawamoto
Photos of Japanese salarymen passed-out on their way home from nomikai social functions, an important part of corporate culture in Japan designed to bring colleagues closer together. Workers are often paid a specific allowance to make sure they have no excuses for not attending which leads many businessmen to drink to excess. Japanese custom dictates that you must never turn down the offer of a drink from your boss.
My photographs are a record of the people who have reached their limit and exhausted their strength after the daily grind. Everyone has different burdens, but everyone lives at a frantic pace. People drink with friends as a reward for the hard day’s work and face a new day’s work like warriors. A lot of people struggle through such work situations. I took these pictures with a true feeling of respect for the people in them. I don’t believe the state my subjects are in is shabby in any way. I can feel they have experienced hardships and fatigue to end up like this.