フォトグラファー・島田勇子が、2023年2〜5月アメリカ・オレゴン州ポートランドに渡米、ホームステイでの出来事をまとめたリトルプレス「how much you have / how much you want」を、英訳を追加して全12回でお届けします。リトルプレス「how much you have / how much you want」は、兵庫・須磨[自由港書店]で販売中。

vol.05 「何かに繋がっていてもいなくても」

March 7, 2023, Tuesday

3ヶ月のうちいつまで語学学校に行くのか 、

Three days have passed while I’ve been thinking. As I was deliberating about how long to attend the language school and stay with my lovely host family, various people reached out and gave me advice through comments and DMs.


Most of those giving advice are friends and acquaintances, but there was also a Japanese family living in Portland who happened upon my social media posts. They not only gave me helpful information, but also told me I could come to them if I had any problems. Since coming to Portland, I feel the kindness of people more.

この街の店の人たちは「Perfect!」と 言ってくれます。
やっぱりパーフェクトと言われるのは日本人の自分には新鮮で 、

Whether I’m buying coffee or having film developed, the people at the shops in this town will say, “Perfect!” That may be a normal thing here, but having anyone say that something I’m doing is perfect is new to me as a Japanese person, and my self-esteem increases day by day.

カメラをぶらさげて近所を歩くと「Beautiful」とか「I love this」と
あらゆる場所で 言ってもらえて
日々、ほぼ雨なのに 、街が、人が、ピカピカと発光しています。

When I walk around the neighborhood with my camera around my neck, I hear things like “Beautiful”, and “I love this”. Even though it rains almost every day, the streets and people are shining brightly everywhere.

今後ですが4月初旬で学校とホームステイを 終わりにします。
(学費とホストファミリー滞在費は 4月いっぱい分払います)

As for my plans, I will end my school and homestay in early April. (My school fees and host family accommodation fees will be paid through to the end of April.)

4月中旬には、日本とロスから友人たちが 一堂に会してくれるので5日ほど合流して、

In mid-April, some friends from Japan and Los Angeles will come together here for about five days, and after that, I have booked a house with a kitchen on Airbnb where I will stay until I return home in mid-May.


Of course, I could happily stay forever at the house of Sheila, the goddess of Portland, but I would like to give this a try as well. The Airbnb home is actually near her house.


Portland is synonymous with craft beer, so one day I asked Sheila for a recommendation of a delicious local beer, and she said she didn’t know anything about beer since she’s a wine person. To my surprise, she stopped an older gentleman who was just passing by us at the supermarket and asked him about it.


She told me that everyone is friendly, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask anyone, anytime, anywhere.
The black can of IPA that he recommended was really delicious.

March 13, 2023, Monday


It had been raining plesantly since the morning this Monday, so I went downtown to drink coffee, then went to Soen café to eat kushi dango topped with fluffy kinako while watching the rain outside through the big glass window. I feel like something in the air in Portland has changed slightly compared to before the pandemic began.

「ここっこここで写真をとりたい〜ッ なんなら住みたい」と憧れてからパンデミックを経て
以前は1度も見なかった路上のテントが ずらりとウィラメット河の橋のそばに並んで 少し緊張します。

Three years ago, before the pandemic, I was so surprised by the people and lifestyle of this city that I had a sudden strong desire to be a part of it and thought, “I want to take photographs here! I want to live here!” Now that the pandemic is over, I was able to come here to stay for three months. Some of the places I wanted to revisit are closed, and I was a little nervous to see tents on the street that I had never seen before lined up under the bridges over the Willamette River.


However, the kindness of the people remains, and I still love Portland. Maybe things are different because I arrived in the middle of winter with rain and snow.


Things may change when the weather gets warmer, but I have realized that if I don’t act on my desires right away, the world won’t wait for me forever. There are some things that have been in my heart to do for many years, but I couldn’t move forward. I have decided to start them no matter what as soon as I returned to Japan.


I think it was a good thing to come here because I have a personality that doesn’t make decisions easily. Since I have a lot of time until I return to Japan in May, I decided to spend my time taking photographs and also drawing some pictures, so I bought some paints yesterday.

March 14, 2023, Tuesday


Today, I suddenly felt like, “I’m okay now”. (I don’t mean it in a security sense)

大好きなPowell’s Books でもなく ポートランドらしい街の中でもなく 、
どこにいても、もう大丈夫だとわかって歩きました。 確信です。

This might be an exaggeration, but for the past few years, I’ve been feeling like my lifestyle doesn’t really suit me, and I’ve been in Portland for a little over a month now, just being open to anything that could increase my chances of survival. The moment didn’t come while I was in my beloved Powell’s Books, or in the most Portland-like areas of the city, but as I was walking through a residential area seeing spring unfold before me. This feeling was unfamiliar to me and I didn’t know what to do next with it, but I knew I would be okay no matter where I was. I walked on holding this assurance in my heart.


As I walked through the bright and safe residential streets of Portland, I felt happy and excited and glad to be alive. I was by myself, and I almost cried because I felt like I had come back to this city for this moment.


I don’t like things that have a definitive answer, and I’ve always been attracted to things that are uncertain. The blessings of that uncertainty flowed for a moment, and from then on, I felt like I could move forward while affirming the moments of uncertainty more and more.

おかしいですよね、 でもとにかくここに来てよかったです。
渡米前はポートランドに住みつきたくなる かもしれないとも思ってたのですが、

I know that this is a weird thing, but in any case, I’m glad I came here for this experience. Before moving to America, I thought I might want to settle down in Portland, but now I know that I can go anywhere at any time.

いまは自分の暮らしをつかって 実験してるような気分です。

Whether it’s connected to something in the future or not, right now I feel like I’m experimenting with my own life.


フォトグラファー 島田勇子


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※〈フォトグラファー島田勇子 「how much you have/ how much you want」 ポートランド日記〉は毎週水曜17:00更新。次回vol.6は5/22投稿予定です。お楽しみに!

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発売日 2024年5月23日(木)定 価 900円(税込)