She has given lectures at universities in Paris and Tunisia, taken assignments all over the world, published a photo-book Hyakusai no Finder (Centenarian’s Finder) and upon turning 100, opened an exhibition of selected images. Calling her portfolio impressive is a severe understatement. Her achievements seem boundless as she continues to work at age 101, despite breaking her left hand and both legs last year. She attends physical rehabilitation three times a week and works on a poignant series titled ‘Hana Akari (Flower Glow) side-by-side, in honour of the friends she has outlived. The first female Japanese photojournalist—and the oldest till date—Tsuneko Sasamoto is a force to be reckoned with, having paved her way headstrong through a male-dominated profession. She’s set an example for aspiring female photographers across the world. As far as she sees it, nothing can hold you back, be it gender, age or societal pressures, as long as you have your camera and curiosity to power through.
Scroll down to see some of Tsuneko Sasamto's beautiful black and white photographs that have stood the test of time.
Words: Sara Hussain