Quiet Photos of Daily Life Under Threat of Nuclear Attack

Quiet Photos of Daily Life Under Threat of Nuclear Attack

North Korean missiles fly over Japan. Daily life soldiers on.

On August 29, 2017 residents of a Northern Japan got a terrifying early morning message sent to their phones. "Ballistic missile launch" it warned. People had less than 10 minutes to find cover as a missile launched from North Korea hurtled across the skies towards Hokkaido. Just over a fortnight later, they received another alert. A second missile was on its way.

Political tension between the United States of Trump and Kim Jong-un's North Korea escalated to a level that brought back memories of the Cold War—with Japan caught in the crossfire.


Both missiles travelled over the north of the Japanese archipelago and eventually crashed in the waters of the Pacific. In the weeks that followed, New Zealand-based photographer Tomas Fernandez was struck by the calmness of the Japanese people living day to day under the threat of a nuclear attack. Could this cool mindset be the result of the catastrophes, both natural and manmade, that have moulded resilience deep down in Japanese society? Tomas spent a month wandering the streets of Tokyo and surrounding cities with his camera documenting a society that does not stop. "Nobody looks at the sky thinking about the missiles, they are too busy working and producing," says Tomas.

See more by Tomas here and follow him on Instagram.