And I am feeling so inspired, I think I might have to photograph it and become a certified Haikyoist.
No-I didn’t know what was either. Basically, it is someone who explores and photographs abandoned properties. But this is no ordinary haunted house style-stuff. Instead, Haikyoists like Michael John Grist explore the forgotten places. This is a hobby I can completely understand, although I’m not sure I can even describe what makes it so compelling. It’s a gut thing.
Here’s how Grist defines Haikyo. “Haikyo’ is a Japanese word that simply means ruin, or abandonment. They’re the places that fell between the cracks; the old mining town in the mountains that died when the copper seams ran dry, the outlandish theme park that failed when the Bubble burst, the US Air Force Base abandoned to nature’s brambles.” (via)
Part of Haikyo, at least according to Grist, is the interaction between spaces abandoned by people, and what happens, naturally, as they are reclaimed by the world around them. I know it’s much more than just the fact that I am visiting Nara in a month that makes me so drawn to Grist’s Nara Dreamland series.
Grist says that “Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing…Nara Dreamland opened in 1961, inspired by Disneyland in California. For 45 years its central fantasy castle, massive wooden rollercoaster Aska, and corkscrewing Screwcoaster pulled in the big crowds. By then though it was outdated, and dying a slow death as Universal Studios Japan (built 2001) in nearby Osaka sucked all the oxygen out of the business. It closed its doors permanently in 2006.” (via)
Why do I want one of these cable cars for my house?
Grist spends time in other Japanese haunts too, and there is plenty to see in his Ruins Gallery.
An abandoned Jungle Theme Park in Izu.
In fact, it’s difficult to not show you more and more and more.