“May 2014, Arao, Kumamoto Prefecture–An image from my series on shokunin (craftspeople), swordsmith Genrokuro Matsunaga polishes one of his creations. Matsunaga tends a fire that will heat to over 1400 degrees as he forges bespoke katana. He is also a master of iado, the Japanese martial art of drawing and cutting with these deadly blades. This practice informs his craft – the intense focus, the constant improvement, and the belief that a samurai’s life depends on his sword.”
- Michael Magers
About the artist
Born in Dallas in 1976, Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist whose work takes him all over the world. From deep dives into international food cultures to intimate views into the ateliers of traditional artisans, Magers imbues each photograph with a story. In 2013, he stepped back from a corporate career to hone a more creative life and pursue his passion for photography. Based between New York City and Austin, Texas, Michael Magers is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning travel books Rice Noodle Fish (2015) and Grape Olive Pig (2016) published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His work has been exhibited internationally–from Cuba to Japan, Paris to New York–and appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, CNN, and The Washington Post, to name just a few. In 2019, he released his first monograph, Independent Mysteries, a selection images from his years on the road juxtaposed with original writing from his friends and collaborators.