Shintaro Sato: Night Lights, The Origin of Tokyo and Geography

Shintaro Sato was born in Tokyo in 1969. He graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography in 1992. He joined Kyodo News as a staff photographer after graduating from Waseda University, School of Letter, Arts and Sciences, in 1995, and has worked as a freelance photographer since 2002.

His work is themed around the distinctive atmosphere – or the “soul” – of Tokyo that is generated from the city’s history and the relief and character of the land itself.

Sato received the Newcomer’s Award from the Photographic Society of Japan in 2009 and the Tadahiko Hayashi Award in 2012.


(1) Night Lights ( Seigensha, 2014)

These shots were taken in the streets of Tokyo and Osaka at night from 1997 to 1999, and in them I have avoided the more aesthetically pleasing locations such as seaside areas and the well-known “subcenters” in favor of the everyday disorder of the streets.
Shintaro Sato

Publisher: Seigensha

(2) The Origin of Tokyo (Seigensha, 2019)

Shintaro Sato has been documenting Tokyo’s evolving landscape in photographs for the past 20 years. The “Origin of Tokyo” series was shot from emergency staircases and rooftops and show a look at the eastern part of the city, far away from the hyper-present neon districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Publisher’s Info

Publisher: Seigensha

(3) Geography (Fugensha, 2019)

The series “Geography” could be called Shintaro Sato’s starting point as a photographer. In 1992, armed with a large-format camera, Sato photographed the ground of a giant unpaved lot near Tokyo Bay, close-up, in order to shoot “flat surfaces as flat surfaces.” The series is Sato re-drawing his starting position as a cityscape photographer, beginning with the very ground that the city is built on – with photos showing “zero degrees of the landscapes.”
Publisher’s Info

Publisher: Fugensha