DAI STOPPED AT A LIGHT. THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN THE NEXT CAR LOOK ON.

Cailin Hill Araki's quarantine in photos

See the Tokyo lockdown through Cailin’s eyes.

by Frankie Dunn
|
28 April 2020, 7:00am

DAI STOPPED AT A LIGHT. THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN THE NEXT CAR LOOK ON.

The coronavirus pandemic is being met with different attitudes by governments across the globe. While Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics have been postponed and a national state of emergency declared, Japan’s lockdown stance has been somewhat lowkey -- relying on people voluntarily shutting down businesses and choosing to self-isolate. Canadian photographer Cailin Hill Araki (also co-founder of casting agency Beyond Tokyo) lives there and is naturally pretty concerned.

“It feels like there’s a lack of information and reaction here in Japan,” she says. “I look at my phone and see what’s going on in other countries and it’s terrifying. Then I look out my front door and see kids playing in the street and families walking around. Everyone has masks on, but it looks like a random Sunday… not a national emergency.”

Currently self-isolating with her husband Dai along with their dogs and budgies, they’re actively trying to avoid contact with people at all costs. “We haven’t seen friends or family since late March. I only leave the house to walk the dogs.” she says. “I already feel an increase in depression and anxiety, and it’s been such a short time. My husband and I are small business owners -- so it’s a stressful time for us. But it’s a stressful time for everyone financially. We just try to remember that everyone is going through this together. When the pandemic ends, I’ll still be a photographer and he’ll still be a producer -- we might have second and third jobs, we might have debt, but we’re not letting the pandemic change our long term career goals.”

Until her self-imposed lockdown is over, Cailin plans to continue spending her time locked away in her bedroom listening to Fiona Apple, while Dai plays Call of Duty in the dark downstairs. “It’s like we’ve reverted back to our teenage selves,” she says. “I was not prepared for this pandemic to make me feel so nostalgic for my youth… but I guess there’s some comfort in living in the past right now.”

Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Surgical masks are officially sold out. There’s still no lockdown in Japan but I start to feel guilty going outside.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Young people on the crossing. I feel like they’re judging my weird mask.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Harajuku closes shops.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
My mental health is deteriorating.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Toilet paper panic is real.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
I start to wonder if everyone’s houses are really as clean as they look on Instagram Stories.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine in photos i-D
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
My family celebrates my sister’s birthday on FaceTime. They’re back in Canada in a more serious lockdown situation than Japan.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
I hold a camera viewfinder to the iPad I’m FaceTiming my family on, they tell me I’m in frame and I take the photo. I tell them they’re “FaceTime Photographers” now and they can change their bios.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
My room deteriorates to match my mental health.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Random things in my room that make me happy.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
I find out someone dear to me has cancer. I worry they won’t get the treatment they need.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
I have worn this for one month now.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
A collection of masks.
Cailin Hill Araki quarantine photos i-D
Sailor Moon watches over us in Harajuku.

Credits


All photos courtesy of Cailin Hill Araki

Tagged:
japan
tokyo
Coronavirus
my year in photos
quarantine in photos