After some days back in Europe I'm still slowly digesting all the intense impressions from my trip to Japan. Surprisingly, most of it really feels positive now, after some good sleep and with some distance. Please allow me to share one of the main reasons for that and introduce you to my magic Japanese psychotherapist.

Even if I just had the pleasure to enjoy one single, 15-minute long treatment from this gentleman at 7am the day after my Osaka meeting, he restored my faith and positive energy in a more than delightful way.

And, NO! I'm not going to just talk again about Sushi and the best Omakase-treatment I ever had. I'm talking about a very short but very touching conversation: “There is sense in everything”, he slowly said to me as I asked him how he feels about the unbelievable fact that the Japanese government finally had decided to move the magic fish market Tskiji to a new location. 

Since my first visit here, back in 2000 with Matthias, back then still "my" world president of Lomography, I deeply loved this unique place and especially these tiny old Sushi bars which do not only serve the freshest Sushi but also have a very special traditional charm, that is so hard to find in Tokyo with more and more old houses disappearing.

But back to my “physiotherapist”, who is working in one of the most famous little sushi bars, a tiny little treasure island dedicated to the celebration of taste. From 5am onwards people are lining up to get one of the maybe 30 seats and everything is simply perfect in all detail. Such a place simply can not be invented but has to grow slowly and carefully over years, maybe decades.

And now, this person really seems to be in total peace to let go and even look forward to take the next step and move on from here. Basically starting all over again with a smile on his face. I was deeply impressed.

But what does this mean for me and my current project and our fight for packfilm? Are we all just too weak and narrow minded to let this material go? Honestly! How often did we use our packfilm cameras in the last years? Did not we ourselves cause all this trouble by letting this material down for much too long? Should we not simply accept that packfilm has to go and it is time to move on to digital or concentrating on the analog materials still around, so they will never get in danger too?

NO! This is of course not what this is all about. The Sushi chef wanted to teach me one very important lesson: If you really love what you are doing, and you do it because of honest passion and all your belief and trust in it, it will not matter where you are doing it, how wild the winds will be blowing and how big the obstacles will seem to be.

And YES, just as this gentleman believes in the essence of his art creating Sushi, I do believe in the essence of analog instant film in all its versions. I 139% believe that this material is the future of analog photography and it simply is our responsibility to keep this creative invention alive.
So, yes, lesson learned. There is a very good reason in Fuji`s decision to stop packfilm. This painful and shocking news simply kicked our asses in order to stand up, come together and fight for it.

Now, let us find a new places and new ways for this material with all our energy and open-minded. Even if we have to move it to new places and start searching for new customers and building new markets and cameras. We can do it.




  • Stephen Vincent

    I’ve always said we don’t know what we are loosing until it’s gone. People don’t care it’s being let down as long as its still somewhat available, they ignore the signs until it’s almost too late.

  • Peter Rose

    Hi Doc. Can we get to the solution as what you think we need to do about pack film? You had ameeting with Fuji executives. Are you at liberty to tell us what happened? Sushi bars aside, I think we need to move forward from here. We can can blame ourselves and we canblame Fuji, but the point is, I think, what can we do to keep the pack film production alive? If you tell us what to do, I for one am willing to help. As I said in a posting here yesterday, if it requires a committment to purchase a certain amount of pack film each year, then let us get on with it and make it happen. Thank you and please keep us informed. Peter.

  • Victor Mouthbreather

    Dear Doc, The expectation that individual instant film shooters could have saved pack film is, like the belief that with just a little more effort (i.e., advertising) Fujifilm could have resuscitated sales, illusory. Increased requirements for digitally captured ID and passport photos is what doomed peel-apart film. We were simply riding that wave without realizing how deep was the water until it went dry. But with that knowledge now being out in the open, we can make plans for the future. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have in mind, and will hope that there is a place for me to participate in such a grand adventure.

  • Axel Breton

    I am totally of an oposite opinion. There is no blaming us for the decline of sales of pack film. It is absolutely not our fault if Fujifilm did not want over the last few years to promote and advertise the product.
    How much time have we said it, people will always be amazed when you show them your camera and the result of pack film. No one knows it exists, how would you expect the sales to rise? If we want the hype to rise from the dead, we have to advertise, and in the best case, release a new camera for this film.


    Dear Doc,
    There is definitely our fault in the pack film sales dwindling, I suppose we all thought that the film would be around forever, and we had more time to use it in a leisurely way. But this rude awakening is upon us, and we are willing to do what it takes to not let this pack film disappear into oblivion. Let’s save it! Tell us what we need to do.

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