Masatoshi Naito (Tokyo, Japan)
Born 1938 in Tokyo. An encounter with the remains of a self-mummified monk while photo shooting at Mount Yudono deepened his interest in Shugendo, and in 1966 he eventually joined the Haguro mountain priets’ ascetic practices. While acquiring his own unique style as a photographer, he began to engage in studies focusing on folk beliefs of the Tohoku region. Published books include Ba-Ba-Bakuhatsu (1979), Dewa Sanzan and Shugen (’82; winner of the 2nd Domon Ken Award), Tono monogatari (Legends of Tono) (’83), and Tokyo: 1970-1985 (TOKYO: VISION OF IT’S OTHER SIDES) (’85; Photographic Society of Japan Annual Award). He attracted attention with his unique style pointing his camera’s flash into the darkness, the results of which have been published in Japan and abroad. Naito also published numerous books reflecting his diverse perspectives and unconventional ideas as a folklorist on such contrasts as “Tohoku and Edo/Tokyo,” “natural and urban environments,” and “science and religion,” including Miira shinko no kenkyu (Study of the Mummy Faith) (’74), Shugendo no seishin uchu (The spiritual cosmos Of Shugendo) (’91), Tono monogatari no genfukei (’94), and Nihon no miira shinko (’99).