Hiroh Kikai Kikai Hiroo, born 18 March 1945) is a Japanese photographer best known within Japan for four series of monochrome photographs: scenes of buildings in and close to Tokyo, portraits of people in the Asakusa area of Tokyo, and rural and town life in India and Turkey. He has pursued each of these for over two decades, and each has led to one or more book-length collections.Although previously a respected name in Japanese photography, Kikai was not widely known until 2003, when the first edition of his book Persona, a collection of Asakusa portraits, won both the Domon Ken Award and Annual Award of the PSJ. In 2009, the ICP and Steidl copublished Asakusa Portraits for an international market.Early yearsKikai was born in the village of Daigo on 18 March 1945 as the seventh and last child of the family. He had a happy childhood, from the age of 11 or so preferring to play by himself in the nature that surrounded the village. He graduated from high school in 1963 and worked in Yamagata for a year, and then went to Hosei University in Tokyo to study philosophy. As a student he was keen on the cinema — he particularly enjoyed the films of Andrzej Wajda, who would later contribute essays to some of his books, and Satyajit Ray — and has said that he would have worked in film production if it did not require writing, a task he has never enjoyed, and money, which he lacked.