About Oyako Day
~Present to the future~
Making the Fourth Sunday of July “Oyako Day”
from Super Photo Session 2017
Oyako means parent and child in Japanese and was originally the name I gave to a photo series I have now been working on since 1982. At the time, I had a magazine assignment to photograph punk musicians. This job came in just before the birth of my first child, so I was also thinking a lot about becoming a father. These two thoughts just naturally converged when I hit on the idea of photographing the rockers with their parents. I figured it would be an amusing way to bring out the differences in lifestyles and fashions between the two generations, but what came back was infinitely more. The pictures revealed so much about family relations that it made me want to continue exploring this theme. Little did I know how big of a story it was going to become for me. With the support of my wife, who manages the photo sessions, I have gone on to photograph over 8,000 Oyako and it has become a life long project.
In 2003 Yoshiko and I decided to take things one step farther and create a special day to think about the parent-child bond. Since the second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day and the third Sunday of June is Father’s Day; we felt the fourth Sunday of July would be a fitting day to celebrate Oyako Day. We hoped it would provide an opportunity for all of us to re-examine and reaffirm this bedrock relation that our lives are tied to. More than anything, we wanted to express our gratitude to all the families we had met through this project. July 27, 2003 was the first Oyako Day. We invited 100 families to have their photos taken. My wife and I were so thrilled by the response we got that we have continued to do this event every year since.
We appreciate the generous support we’ve gotten from sponsors and volunteers. With their assistance, along with encouragement from many others, this event is gaining greater recognition. We look forward to the next Oyako Day and hope you will join us.
Bruce Osborn (photographer) and Yoshiko Osborn (producer),
Originators of “Oyako Day”
More Oyako photos taken by Bruce Osborn here
Bruce Osborn Biography
Bruce Osborn was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from University of Pacific where he majored in fine art. With his sights set on becoming a photographer, he attended Art Center College of Design and then began his professional career working in the music industry. In 1980 he had his first exhibition in Japan. It was very successful and, soon afterwards, Bruce and Yoshiko moved to Tokyo where they continue to live now. Bruce’s camera work appears in many famous publications and advertisements in Japan and overseas. He has gotten awards for his photographs and published several photo books. In addition to photography, he also shoots and directs TV commercials and music videos. To see more of Bruce’s work visit his website.
Books featuring Bruce’s photographs
Oyako (Inks Inc.)
Kazoku (Kadokawa Shoten)
Gomennasai (Nipon Hyojun)
Anti Bambi Syndrome (Hiyoko Sha)
A Vacant Man’s Vacation (Kodansha)
Ijintoshi Tokyo (Shinko Music)
Toshi no Asobikata (Shinshosha)
Oyabaka Power (Iwasaki Shoten)