Sento painter

Sento bathhouse painter Toshimitsu Hayakawa was one of the most remarkable people I’ve photographed. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, only a couple of years after I took these photographs.

One of the two last sento bathhouse painters in Tokyo, he was in his seventies and still working.

He was a modest and kind man who lived a tough life, but did he job with care and dignity. He had a lot to teach.

(Tokyo photojournalist on Facebook)









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3 Responses to “Sento painter”

  1. Skye says:

    Fantastic shots. What an amazing essay – it’s sad to hear that there are so few sento painters left.

    • tony says:

      Thanks Skye. As far as I know there is only one working sento painter left. Hayakawa said that he had had many apprentices over the years but none with the stamina to continue.

  2. Sean says:

    Tony, a really nice piece of work. Sad testament on Japanese society at large, but the images provide a great narrative. Keep up the great work!

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