Kumamoto to KentuckyPhotography and Text Lee Whittaker

Kumamoto, October 5th, 2017
Photography and Text Lee Whittaker

Walking in, I’m instantly transported to Texas or elsewhere in the deep south. Immediately I’m approached by a man in a Stetson asking me if I’m from Texas. Kumamoto, is a small city on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Situated 700 miles south west of Tokyo, it’s an isolated city removed from the frenetic energy of Japan’s more well known metropolis.


With less than a million inhabitants it’s known for its 15th century castle and its local delicacy—horse meat. Outside Tokyo it is a second home to Japan’s Country and Western scene. I’m here to meet Charlie Nagatani, the owner of a local country and western honky tonk named Good Time Charlie. We’ve been emailing back and forth from London and communication up until this point has been haphazard at best.
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