JULY 2020


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Inspiring transformation

© Víctor Tardio



Spain entered full lockdown on March 14h. The days before that, I had been rock climbing 300 meters multi-pitch routes in Ports de Besseit, almost 240 km south of Barcelona. Els Ports as it is known is a stoning, remote and magical National Park, a paradise for climbers. I keep a very special memory from those days climbing with a great partner, right before the lockdown started.


But my life hadn't been always rock climbing and living in Catalonia. In 2001, I joined a French NGO Horizons pour Tous for disable people and sailed around the world from France to French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. After for 12 years I lived abroad working as free-lance photographer for travel magazines, international media and news agencies. First in Tokyo (Japan) from 2005 to 2009 and after in Delhi and Rishikesh (India) from 2010 to 2016 always working for travel magazines.


Non stop rock climbing is what I had been doing since 2017 when I returned to Catalonia. In the summer of 2016, I felt in love with this lifestyle that changed my life. Rock climbing, like surfing is not a sport, is a way of living.


2019 had been also a very good year work-wise. I had started the year traveling to Mexico to do a story on an endemic vegetable called chayote, after I traveled to Valencia in Spain and March I went to the Lofoten islands above the article circle to do a story on Norwegian Cod. After I went again to Norway, to the Basque country and south of France, to Senegal to do a story on the exotic madd fruit and I ended the year shooting a story on pomegranate in Iran.


In between all this traveling, I was living in Maya, my 6 meters van, and rock climbing around Catalonia and Valencia. Seeing the sunset by the sea, waking up by the sound of the birds, doing yoga surrounded by nature, hearing the sound of rain against Maya, falling sleep seeing the moon above my bed was part of my daily life.

7.1 2020

Itxaso Zuñiga Ruiz

freelance travel photographer

© Roger Villena


Due to the lockdown many people might have thought about changing life, job or lifestyle. I didn't,  I loved the life I had built. I was doing the two things I love the most, working as travel photographer and rock climbing multi-pitch routes. I had good clients that took me many years to find and I am grateful for everything I lived.


So when all this changed from one day to the next, I was in shock. I wasn't allowed to live in my van anymore neither allowed to climb and few weeks later the airline magazines I had been working for announced temporary suspension so no more work coming in.


We all were in shock, and we are all grieving for what we lost. Because life changed and we all left something behind. There are 5 stages of grieving: denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance. If that is the case, during this time I was full in denial and at times anger.


The father of Alberto Espinosa, a Spanish writer used to tell him “to live is to learn to loose what you gained” if that's the case, my professional career as travel photographer is a lot about that. In the past 15 years I have worked for over 100 clients and only 10 to 15 remain today and from those many changed their teams entirely. Many closed down in 2009, some before, others after or now as effect of the Covid-19.


For 50 days, Spain was in full lockdown. We were only allowed to go out one person at a time with mask and gloves to buy essentials like groceries or medicines and go to the doctor. Police was patrolling the streets everyday having controls to check where the few cars were moving too and asking people the same. Everything stopped and the whole country looked like a post-apocalyptic scene.


During this time I worked on my personal photographic career and a my new project called LVRS a photo essay about the connection of sexual encounters with the 4 natural elements (fire, earth, water and air).


And also, I was lucky I had my wools so I could follow my recent passion: knitting. I knit a lot, a hat, 2 masks, 2 scarfs, a shawl, a set of coasters and I just started a new turquoise scarf.

What the future holds...

As I write this, the village where I live is in phase 2 (+35 days since full lockdown). In Barcelona city they are not so lucky, just starting phase 1. In phase 2, we are allowed to go out, move around our area, most of the shops, restaurants and bars are reopening and we can even go climbing again. The most difficult thing for Spanish people is to wear masks as we are not used to and keep the 2 meters distance between friends and people you know. We are a warm society, we greet people with a hug and two kisses one on each cheek.


Personally, I am still grieving from a lost life, specially work-wise and wondering how I am going to earn my living from now on. The good side is that I have experience from previews breakdowns and tsunamis in my life. In 2009, 50% of my clients closed down and in 2015 I separated from my husband after 13 years together and started a new life. Something I learned is that nothing is permanent.


I am taking care of myself and the ones I love, I try to be happy and well everyday. Stay focus, don't rush into anything, learn to live with the uncertainty and make plans for only 3-4 months ahead. After this time, time to revise things again. Save and don't waist energies. And very important, listen to my heart beat carefully, the heart beat that always tells me where to go and what to do next.


Work-wise I keep working for a client and I am focus on my other expertise as social media visual content creator as I collaborate with a couple of clients and NGOs. Always learning and keeping update with the latest tendencies, finally I am having time to improve my video editing and design skills.


Right now, from the grieving stages I am moving from anger to depression and acceptance....and I would add a 6th stage: gratitude.

© Maribeth Mellin



text and photographs - Itxaso Zuñiga Ruiz (unless otherwise specified)

translation - Mikiko Shirakura

© Víctor Tardio

While I write this and during lockdown the following song has been all time around me. Sleeping at Last – Southern.

© Patrick Golding

freelance travel photographer

Itxaso Zuñiga Ruiz


Itxaso Zuñiga Ruiz (1978) born in Terrassa, Spain. Free-lance photographer for travel magazines and social media visual content developer specialized in tourism. Passionate rock climber, van lover and knitter.

Based in Japan (Tokyo) from 2005 to 2009 working for Spanish news agencies and Japanese travel magazines and in India (Delhi&Rishikesh) from 2010 to 2016 working for Japanese, Korean and SE Asia travel magazines.

Since 2017 she is living in Catalonia, Spain where she continues working for foreign media and develop social media visual content for NGO's and tourism industry.

In 2018 she published her 2nd photobook “The Journey” a hard cover book exploring the meaning of travel and photography.

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Book "The Journey"

Hard cover photobook exploring the intimate meaning of travel and photography.

A visual interpretation of a life's journey, a travel journey, with more poetic images and text than explicit or descriptive photographs.

This photobook is more about how you feel looking at the images and reading the poetic text rather than what the images actually show.

First Edition: 150 limited, numbered and signed copies.

Size: 21x21 cm.

Hard Cover

Pages: 208.

Content: 188 color images and text, plus 20 tracing paper pages with text.

Interview to the author, locations and previous publications.

Language: English. Translated into Japanese, Spanish and Catalan.

03 Book.jpg


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You don't know what's in store for you in life.The moment you open up, the path is clear.

In 2020, a new coronavirus has literally changed the world.

Even now, in late June, as I write this, I'm still washing my hands, gargling and washing my hands every chance I get. A shot of sanitizing gel or spray is becoming the new normal.

Swoosh disinfectant at the reception desk of a company you visit for work.
Shuffling disinfectant in supermarkets and funtion buildings.

Each time I do, I am reminded of my trip to India, which I visited in December 2018.


As a freelance writer and copywriter, I've had a lot of experiences over the past 22 years. Covering India was the "finest trip" of my life so far.

It was an eight-day, seven-night trip on a river cruise ship on the Ganges River.

Up and down food was the norm.

Our handsome, Japanese-speaking Indian guide, Raja-san, took care of us like a steward on the cruise. Days when the ship's crew takes over the coffee and water refills and opens the door for you.

When we went out for sightseeing, we were completely protected by the guide and crew.

We were also given what photographer Keiko and I called the "hygiene team" - germicidal gel and wet wipes. A "crew member with two hands" is always standing by. The moment our hygiene as passengers is at risk, they are right by our side, smiling and sterilizing They would push the gel.


As you can imagine, I was confused on the first day, but by the third day or so, if there was even a slight hygiene crisis, he would ask, "Where's the sanitation team? Where? They even followed him with their eyes.

"Do you want to hold a newborn baby goat? My aunt in India recommended me to go to India for the first time, and I tended to indulge in Indo-Japanese diplomacy. The crew of the health team seemed to have marked out the person who needed attention.


The Indians are not so concerned about the fact that the country requires such high standards of hygiene for foreigners. There was not.

When I was following the ice cream of the stall, I was told by Raja, the guide, in Japanese, "Do not buy and eat I was warned by a foreigner that I was "not allowed to buy or eat" even though I was now a respectable middle-aged man.

Even though I am now a respectable middle-aged man, I was warned by a foreigner that I shouldn't buy and eat like a student on a school trip. What's it like to take it in Japanese?

You never know what's going to happen in life.


I'm looking out the window of my room on the cruise ship at the Ganges River and people are waving at me as I bathe in the ablutions. .

As I waved back, I thought, 'If I bathed them, they'd probably be dying.

I knew that the difference between them, who were bathing well, and me was probably due to the difference in acquired immunity, but the world is a big place, I shimmered.


When the corona disaster swept over the world, Raja, on the group line of members of the trip at this time, Raja I received a message from "ogenkidesuka,watasihagenkidesu Ta.

I couldn't read the Japanese written in romaji silently, so I said to myself, "Are you bored? Read.

Raja takes care of our health and because we are restricted from going out in India, the food He wrote to me to say that he was living well, although it was inconvenient to buy things, and that he was doing well.

I used Google Translate to send the reply in English.

It's very convenient. The world is a big place, but people are getting closer.


I wonder what will happen now because of the corona disaster. More and more people are being tormented by the anxiety of "what if?

I, for one, felt that it was an opportunity to re-partition.

As a matter of fact, the economy has been in a slump since the second half of 2019.

The increase in the consumption tax was probably a factor.

The projects we had been working on were disappearing like sand slipping through our fingers.

Then came the corona crisis.

I decided that it was inevitable that I would have to close down my business.

I had no idea what I would do after I went out of business, but I thought, "Well, anything is possible in this situation. It was.

We are facing a global crisis.

I thought that all I could do now was to gargle, wash my hands and refrain from going out.



Immediately after I regained my composure, work started pouring in from unexpected sources.

In the second half of 2019, it was as if all the seeds we had been sowing in the slump had sprouted at once. .

As a result, I was busy working every day, even though I was at home in a declared state of emergency.

Now that the state of emergency has been lifted, I'm still busy, thankfully.


It's hard to believe that my days were so dreary until around March of this year.

I was not only a writer specializing in travel, but also a Grade 3 English examinee, when I was asked to go to India to cover a story. I thought "You never know what's going to happen in your life" when I had the first time, but this time, too, it was really unexpected.

Well, that's about how my life is going to go, for the most part.


I am now the editor-in-chief of a free newspaper with a circulation of 300,000.

In the midst of declaring a state of emergency, I was hired through an online interview, and I was given a contract to work on a full remote carried out.

Even now, about a month and a half after it started, I've never met the editorial team in real life.

But I am the editor-in-chief.

It's amazing in many ways.


I was reluctant to admit that "anything is possible", but I'm happy to say that the result of "anything is possible" has made me happy. You gave it to me, and I'm squirming.

If you think about it calmly, this corona disaster has forced everyone on the planet to change, and There is.

In other words, there is no way we can do things the way we've always done them.

It seems to me that the more we stick to our old ways, the more we suffer.


The people who were satisfied with their lives before the coronation, and those who feel that their lives were better before than they are now, are not satisfied with the way things were before. Maybe I want to go back, or maybe I want to go back.

I've been in a slump for over six months, and I've also been swept up in some unpleasant relationships at work. I'm in the camp that has and doesn't want to go back.

Nevertheless, it's important that those who want to "go back" do their best and try to create a new era. I think power is also necessary.

To move forward without whining, complaining, or directing our anger at society, politics, or anyone else. I feel that we are now being asked to focus our energy on the one thing that matters most.


When we visited India, the Ganges River was café au lait and the sky was hazy.

We thought that was India.

However, we learned from the Internet news that the Ganges had regained its clarity like a clear stream after the corona disaster, and we could see the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years as the air pollution cleared.


The changes that have occurred due to the corona disaster are not all bad.

It's an opportunity for everyone on the planet, and opportunities lie ahead.

I learned firsthand that whether you take advantage of it or kill it depends on how you are.

That's why I would like to recommend it to many people.

Don't look around, don't look around, don't worry, and don't be afraid to say "anything is possible".



Writer / Kimono Evangelist

7.1 2020

Takako Kurihara

text - Takako Kurihara

photographs -  Keiko Oda

ガンジス河の夕日 (1)
ガンジス河の夕日 (2)
最後の夜のパーティ (1)
最後の夜のパーティ (2)

Writer / Kimono Evangelist

Takako Kurihara


This is my 22nd year of freelance experience. I have more than 25 years of kimono experience. I've been involved in planning and organizing paper and web media and SP tools, as well as interviewing and writing. He has been the editor-in-chief of Pacoma, a home improvement magazine, since June 2020.

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Handsome vocal group "Shunka Shuto"'s major debut single "Start Line - Spring Sky and the voice drama included in the second single "Love Story on Page 1 - Natsukoi". Responsible for the scenario.

She was in charge of the jacket costume for "Love Story - Natsukoi on Page 1".


Lesson "Kimono Personal Lesson"

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Lovely little moments


Hiroko Sakomura

7.1 2020

cultural producer

I spend about half of the year moving around the country and abroad working, so at the end of March Ever since I came back from Finland, I've been living in Tokyo, roughly within 10 kilometers of my work and home. It had been a long time since I had been in the range of the As a matter of fact, in the beginning, I thought it was a bang-up job.


This year, I've been traveling overseas every month, and I'm a little out of breath, this will buy me time, and I usually feel like I'm I can do what I used to do, because all my colleagues in the world are in the same situation, and I can do it with a video conferencing system. I was in the mood to just get by on my cell phone and email.

However, things don't work out that way.

As long as we are alive, various things will happen, no matter what the situation is.

And if it's an emergency, more and more things are going to happen to you.

Unpredictable things will happen one after another.

In this situation, you have no choice but to gather your courage and resolve to not run away, not to lose, and to do your best.


That said, there have been many things that I have gained in my daily life, even in this situation.

So, a small update.


First of all, I challenged myself to do my standard "tidying up".

I didn't just toss them away, I tried to do something else.

For example, I got rid of the toothpaste in the tube.

A box full of toothpaste that I brought home from the airplane and the hotel I stayed at on a business trip piled up.

At first, I was going to throw it away, but then I decided to use it all up.

It's a very trivial thing, but I decided to take a break from my old habit of accumulating things I tried to rectify the situation.

It took us a while to run out, but it was a great feeling to see how much we had accomplished when the mountain of small tubes were gone. The feeling was quite something.

I smiled at myself in the mirror and said, "You did it.

I wondered why I was so happy about this.


Next, I decided to unpack some of the kimonos I'd received from people who were related to me.

I had already made some of them into kimonos, haori and obis, but this time, I chose the patterns and colors of the kimono and worked on them one by one. I decided to untie myself.

I carefully untied it, washed it by hand, and ironed it.

I laid the cloth back on the tatami mats and was enthralled with it too.

The beauty of a kimono is that it can be revived over and over again like this.

The cloth itself seemed to be quietly waiting to see what it would become next, and I felt a sense of accomplishment.

In this state, I could quickly raise it for someone else to give it to me.

Most of all, I enjoyed the feeling, the catharsis, when the old thread cracked open with a shuffle.


For daily rice making, I started making salted rice-bran paste (salted rice-bran paste), which I had been longing for a long time.

Recently, pre-fermented salted rice-bran paste is already on sale, how convenient.

In the past, the crust pickling jar used to be on the kitchen floor, but now I can close the plastic pack and put it in the refrigerator! Just add in.

Not only the classic cucumbers and eggplants, but also cabbage cores, broccoli stalks, zucchini, and leftover radishes. They all pickle, too.

After a day, they taste better than anything else.

This feeling of using up all the vegetables, I feel luxurious.


I was on a roll and tried to be self-sufficient in a modest way.

I put small tomatoes, lettuce, shiso leaves and cilantro on the balcony. I planted them.

I also bought a nice, real aluminum jowl and watered it daily.

We harvested the first three mini-tomatoes safely.

The berries are still in the shape of bells, so we can enjoy them for a while.

As for the leaves, I pick new ones every morning and eat them with a boiled egg.

I've come to love my favorite breakfast more and more.



And then I take a "wander" after work for the day.

While walking around the neighborhood, I find a house with a lovely appearance and imagine what kind of people live there, and then I start to think about what kind of people live there. I was able to admire the flowers in the garden, admire the care of the garden, and have a cup of tea here! What would be nice to hear?

Listening to the joyful voices of children and families playing badminton and jumping rope in the alleyway, I could see the sunset Savor the richness of time at the end of a day.

As I let the time flow in a leisurely fashion, my nostalgic memories of my childhood come flooding back.


As I walked around the neighborhood, I noticed that there were greenways, ancient tombs and parks full of greenery.

There's even a canyon.

Until now, the road is just an approach to our destination, and we've been taking the train or car or taxi to "get around" as much as we can. 'Quickly' is the iron rule.

You may know the main roads and shortcuts, but not much about how the little alleys and narrow streets are connected. I wasn't even interested.

So, as I walked along at my feet, I was like, "What? You're going out here? It was a bit exciting, for example, when I realized that I was going to be able to do this.

To put it bluntly, I felt as if I had a new circuit inside me.

These days, walking has become an everyday activity, and I've been walking to barter with my friends instead of taking the train as much as possible to Going.

This is a very big step forward for me, as I only had the idea of a "quick courier.


Also, every now and then "Tonto Milla" joins me on this wanderlust.

Tonto lives in the far north of Finland, in the far north of Korvatunturi Mountain, with Santa Claus. The little people who are.

In Tonto, I've been working as a helper for Santa Claus, observing children all over the world and I have a job to report to Santa Claus, so I can fly anywhere in the world.

Milla is the smallest of them all, Tonto, and these days, she's totally my walking partner.

It's quite refreshing to see it through Milla's eyes as well as my own perspective.




The other day, I read in one of the newspapers that a six year old girl tweeted, "Christmas, I wonder if Santa will come in Corona. I'm an old man in a foreign country," and I read that she mumbled, "This is a big deal, Tonto Milla and I. Santa Claus will be here again this year, I'm sure! I began to think that I had to go around and tell them.

It's about time the world lifted its request to go out of the house, so I hope to go anywhere with Tonto Milla when called upon, and tell as many children, or even adults with a child's heart, about Santa Claus, Tonto, and how the world is full of wonders. 


Like the story of Tonto, over the years I've come to desire to spend time with the next generation of children.

Since I started the company, my motto has been: "Everyone is different and good, but everyone is connected. But we are all connected.

I wanted to show children that it is interesting to make friends with people from all over the world, and that a little bit of English is useful for that.

That's why I started the Sakkomama English project on my own.

I started the Sakkoma English project with a small table and chairs in the middle of a children's meeting place, and I would give them a little English lesson.

The goal was to create a mysterious English-speaking woman.

The goal was a mysterious woman who spoke English. It's a little strange, but he teaches me English, and he seems to care about me a lot. The position of "they seem to be doing it for me".

I want to connect with each and every child.

I especially want to connect with the shy ones who have a hard time speaking up in a crowd.

I want to listen to my kids' musings.

I want to be able to relate to them in a way that allows them to tell me their private stories.


And at this time of year, I played with the alphabet with my friends.

Each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by an illustration, animation, sound effects, and English read aloud.

I hoped that young children would be able to learn the alphabet while playing with it and imitate the movements of the animals.

The production team's illustrations were by Wanju, with animation and sound effects by Hiroshi Seo.

Read out loud by Sanashi Saito and production management by Shuntaro Sakomura.

The data can be easily distributed.


One day, after spending the last three months like this, I was talking on the video phone with a work colleague in Sweden. And suddenly she said, "I've been working like a 'headless chicken' and Wasn't it? I said.

As soon as I heard that, I saw myself and the image of a chicken that kept running even though it had been decapitated.

'Oh, yes, I may have just been running without having time to think it over.

Running east and west, he thought, that suited his work style.

'Oh, my God!'

Then I kept thinking about headless chicken for the time being.

Rather than wake up in the morning and start moving in work mode with a to do list in my head first, I decided to get some fresh morning water into my jolo and water the plants and trees on my balcony.

If the drugstore has a sale on toothpaste, I don't buy it until I run out.

In the evening, I cooked a delicious meal and made a fruit-filled miso soup full of pickles and seasonal vegetables.

Sometimes I walk home slowly.

Live each day with care.

Savor the passage of time.

It's such a simple thing, but now I've finally realized it.

Yes, I can't and won't go back to being a headless chicken.


photographs and text - Hiroko Sakomura

cultural producer

Hiroko Sakomura


Cultural Producer and President of S2 Corporation. He has been involved in international cultural projects and educational programs such as art exhibitions and events. For the past 30 years, he has had a strong connection with Finland and other Nordic countries. His main projects include "Come, see, feel and be surprised! Wonderland of Interesting Art", "Audrey Hepburn", "Kanzeza New York Performances," "Tibetan Esoteric Art Exhibition," "Finnish Ceramics Exhibition," "Marimekko Spirits Exhibition," etc. One Show Interactive 2002 Grand Prize, Good Design Award 2008, and 2008 2nd Kids Design Award - Gold Prize, Kansei Value Design Award, Faith & Form He was awarded the International Awards 2009. His books have been translated into English, including Myths of the American Indian, The Santa Claus of Lapland, The The Arinu Usagi, Nonine! Why are Finns happy? and "Tontoomilla and the Friends" and many others.

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The exhibition starts on July 4, 2020 at the Abeno Harukas Art Museum in Osaka and travels to different locations in Japan until the spring of 2021.


Tove Jansson,

Drawing for Easter card,

1950s, Moomin Characters

© Akane Suenaga


AINO and ALVAR AALTO: Shared Visions

Innovations in Wood Bending Technology & Design of Furniture

This exhibition is a preview of the exhibitions that will be held in larger scale in the Setagaya Art Museum and the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art from March 2021.


photo by Hiroshi Kubo (Photo Studio K)

Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss a possible project or learn more about my work.


Proudly created by Tsutomu Kinoshita

editor in cheaf and
art director and designer
Tsutomu Kinoshita
Ayumi Ogo
Mikiko Shirakura
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