Nature was always part of my childhood.

Surrounded by mountains, with young leaves and flowers on the trees, fireflies around the creeks, red dragonflies flying over rice paddies…a silvery world when snow fell, a place with bountiful nature—that is where I grew up.

I moved to Tokyo when I was eighteen, and over the almost ten years since then, I continuously sought nature, even within the city. I went to parks and rivers. I found myself pulled by it without even realizing. Perhaps, by facing nature, I was unconsciously catching sight of my original landscape from childhood.

Or perhaps, it is only natural for us to seek nature.

As I conversed with and observed nature, I came across the buzzer midge, or yusurika in Japanese. Yusurikas inhabit freshwater areas such as rivers and ponds in groups, sometimes forming swarms. Reflecting the flash of the camera, each yusurika turns into a small white ball of light, transforming into something fantastical, like fairies of the natural world.

I listen to the words of nature and capture them in my photographs. I believe this will always be a part of me—I will always enter nature seeking to understand its feelings and expressions. These works embody the pure feelings that emanate from the nature I surround myself with.

—Yoshinori Mizutani

If you’d like to see more work like this, we’d recommend these previous features: Colors, an interview with Yoshinori Mizutani on how he became interested in photography; Tokyo Parrots, another of his previous series about the flocks of feral parrots that have taken over Tokyo; and Tokyo: City of Strangers, a project that meditates on the ability of technology to bring distant people together in one of the world’s largest cities.