Monday, August 8, 2011


In 1974, at the age of 24, photographer Kenji Kawano traveled from Japan to the Navajo Reserve in Arizona. He spoke no English, but decided to hitch from community to community taking pictures as he went.

"At first, I thought I wanted to photograph everyday life of the Navajo for awhile, go back to Japan, and have a photography exhibit in Tokyo," he says.

But instead, he remained in the U.S.

"...(I) always felt sympathetic toward the American Indian..." says Kawano. "When I came to the States, I didn't know if American Indians existed."

Kawano is known for a book he did with images of Navajo Code Talkers from the Second World War. Along with this book, Warriors, he has also done books on Navajo woman and the cultural traditions of the people.

In 1980 he became the Navajo Nation official photographer, and in 2005 exhibited his Warriors series at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Today he still lives in Arizona; still snapping pics and showcasing his work internationally.

Check his stuff out at

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