Something that we're always curious about is how tennis as a sport and culture is perceived and experienced in different places around the world. As part of this, we asked Tokyo-based photographer Jun Iwasaki to depict his relation to tennis in his own neighborhood of the Japanese capital: "I personally don't play tennis but often find myself glancing down at the people playing while out for a run. This was also how I wanted to approach these images; me, being an unknown audience that sees tennis from afar. I feel that there is a certain distance and a slight sense of awkwardness that shines through in the images," says Iwasaki.
When venturing out into his home area, Iwasaki instantly knew which direction to head in when thinking of tennis. On that, he says: "I went to the Komazawa Olympic Park. It's one of the most lively parks of Tokyo, I'd say. It was used as a main venue during the first Tokyo Olympics in 1964. I love that even today, people enjoy exercise amid the seasonal colors of nature and 60's Japanese architecture. I feel very lucky when I'm at the park because of how well-preserved the area has been kept for more than fifty years — it is like each of us are just trying to be good neighbors to one another and our surroundings."
On a final note, Iwasaki shares with us his thoughts and relation to tennis and sport as a whole: "I think the reason I'm so gravitated towards sports is that many sports have rules that players have to follow, helping human personalities grow; especially young people."
Explore Iwasaki's photo essay, Scenes Of Tennis In Tokyo (1964-2021), below. Click here to explore more of Iwasaki's work.