Comments on: Haikyo: exploring abandoned Japan Taking the pulse of trends, trend-watchers and trendmakers in Japan. Thu, 07 Nov 2013 08:29:40 +0000 hourly 1 By: Florian Wed, 06 Oct 2010 02:06:16 +0000 I’m pretty sure that most of the vandalism done to ruins isn’t caused by urban explorers, but by the bored local youth. I’ve been to many, many places, some of them completely or almost unknown to the internet and special interest books, and I’m time and again surprised how even remote and quite unspectacular places (like a driving school in Hyogo countryside) get trashed. Maybe there are some exceptions, but I doubt that people go 3 or 4 hours by train to vandalize places they saw on the internet – but they do to take pictures…

By: Mike Fri, 26 Mar 2010 05:22:53 +0000 I’ve seen beautiful places destroyed by vandals or completely sealed up because of too much online exposure by explorers. It’s a real shame when that sort of thing happens. I can completely identify with the urge to have a bit of fun in these forbidden places, but I think part of being a conscientious explorer is taking care of these sites. I don’t think the culprits behind the vandalism are the sort to post good photography online though. Most likely it’s a group of kids who get wind of a place and just let loose. All the more reason to keep locations between trusted friends.

I have a few of my recent explores here if interested:

By: Juergen Specht Mon, 23 Nov 2009 07:09:15 +0000 Jason must be happy about all the attention this article receives! :)

Michael John Grist, if you would behave less like a vandal and more like an explorer, nobody would ever pester you. Its that easy!

By: MJG Sun, 22 Nov 2009 23:09:52 +0000 Juergen and Kuroneko et al, your accusations are tiresome and you need to stick a sock in it. I don`t want to come off as belligerent- but kuroneko has been painting me with this `not very nice person` brush for 2 years now and it`s getting ridiculous. So you found my URL tagged on a blackboard (horror! shock!), and deduced that every bit of carnage in that place was caused by me. Wow. Fine reasoning, fellas.
Get off it, seriously. It`s not far from me saying kuroneko`s dead cat in black and white was killed and skinned by him, or that Sprecht leaves the weird bubbles he shoots naked girls in lying around in the suyicide woods.
Filmwasters? Yes, Ok.
So next time you go to any haikyo where you know I`ve been, feel free to assume that access was smashed in by me, all the graffiti was done by me, all the fire extinguishers were let off by me, and if the place has been demolished- then that was me too.
Get a grip.

By: Juergen Specht Wed, 18 Nov 2009 07:57:10 +0000 Time to chime in! As a good friend of Kuroneko, I totally agree with his concerns…just 2 weeks ago I visited a Haikyo with Kuroneko and another professional Haikyo photographer only to find a disarray of recently used fire extinguishers, a recently smashed window and a blackboard tagged with the URL of MJG…we have even photographic evidence!

Me and other Haikyo lovers find this a rather sad development…what is so special about Japanese ruins is the fact that some of them were *absolutely untouched* for many, many years. Kuroneko and I – who also visited Gunkanjima 5 years ago (see cover photo) – found a hospital which was abandoned since more than 38 years and practically *nobody* entered it ever. Talking to a neighbor, he told us that it spooks inside and he would not even think of going in the building. We did and found a photographers dream, a place only nature touched and slowly absorbed.

It’s the beauty of decay we are after and none of us ever altered the state of affairs, in fact we regular re-visit some places again years later and compare what changed…trying to immortalize these places with our cameras.

So just because there are working fire extinguishers doesn’t mean they are waiting to be used…please don’t destroy more and please don’t lie, you leave too many traces on the Internet and in the places itself.



By: Jason Wed, 18 Nov 2009 07:07:13 +0000 Hi Michael.

Not sure if my source goes by “Kuroneko,” but for what it’s worth, he didn’t provide any names to me. I appreciate your input, though. I’ve seen your site many times and you have some great shots.

By: Jason Wed, 18 Nov 2009 07:04:43 +0000 Hi Jason. Congratulations! Would love to hear how it is received!

By: Michael John Grist Wed, 18 Nov 2009 06:33:17 +0000 I think it’s likely your source is a guy who goes by the name ‘kuroneko’ and I also think it’s likely that he’s talking about me as one of the ‘not very nice’ people. I met kuroneko for coffee about a year ago and he expressed his concerns to me. I explained then as I’ll explain now that I don’t do what he thinks I do.

I do not break windows or force entry and never have- though it’s hypocritical of us all to decry that when we use the holes cut and smashed by others who went before us. On my website I simply explain how I enter as part of the story of visiting the place- ‘kuroneko’ said he disliked this chiefly because it meant others would then know how to gain access. Well- I’m not in the business of closely guarding haikyo locations, so this never bothered me.

The charge about letting fire extinguishers has some truth to it- but not in the plural sense which he suggests. It’s not a habit, it was a one time thing captured on film. As such, doing that in an abandoned structure where the fire extinguishers will never be used, causing zero damage in the process- it’s not great behaviour but it’s hardly a demolition derby.

I doubt you’ll publish this comment, but if you do it will help to set the record straight.

By: Jason Collin Photography Thu, 12 Nov 2009 15:58:58 +0000 I am having what I believe to be the first haikyo photography exhibition in the U.S. of photographs I made in Japan. If you are in Florida, please come visit the exhibition: